Budget 2020: Cullen React to Plastic Tax Announcement - Cullen

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Budget 2020: Cullen React to Plastic Tax Announcement

The 2020 Budget placed the “scourge of plastic waste” at the top of the political agenda. Rishi Sunak has made good on the Conservative manifesto promise to introduce a new plastic packaging tax.

From April 2022, manufacturers and importers will be charged £200 per tonne on packaging made from less than 30% recycled plastic.

The plastic packaging tax was announced alongside strong investment in environmental research, development and innovation but is it enough to help businesses put more focus on sustainable packaging in an increasingly demanding market? Is the tax taxing enough?

Industries across the board will be affected and the tax will make it essential that due care and attention is paid to the recyclability of materials. The cost of £200 per tonne should certainly help even any cost advantage that virgin plastic might offer.

What are the alternatives TO PLASTIC PACKAGING?

A bolder way to get sustainability off of the backbenches of business would be to focus on alternatives to single-use plastic altogether. Moulded pulp is a prime candidate to help.

David MacDonald, Director of Cullen, said “We’re happy to see the UK Government support the work Cullen has been doing for years; reduce the amount of plastic packaging in circulation. Moulded pulp is one of the most viable and reliable alternatives to plastic and we manufacture it in the UK”.

“Ultimately it’s made from paper, the most widely recycled material in the UK. Moulded pulp is compostable and will biodegrade up to 450 years earlier than single-use plastic. In 14 days Cullen can design a bespoke moulded pulp replacement for plastic packaging”.

“We are excited to know the products we manufacture can be the solution to a global problem”.

Moulded pulp packaging can replace its plastic counterparts without reducing protection or increasing price. Cullen’s latest innovation – Clinker – gives ultimate protection to bottles using moulded pulp at a comparable price point.


Moulded pulp produce trays offer safe and sustainable housing to fresh fruit and vegetables. This extends the life of produce by up to two days – essential to avoid a huge increase in food waste – without harming the planet that provides it.

Horticulture products are also well served by pulp. Pots and trays can be used both in transit and as shelf-edge displays. Each one can be treated with a water-repellent wax coating to stay strong and rigid for longevity.

All these products, and many more, are recyclable in standard facilities and compostable without treatment. Cullen hold approval to the International Standard EN 13432 for industrial compostability.

With its endless potential and possibilities, a vote for moulded pulp products is a step closer to sustainability.