What the Plastic Packaging Tax means for your business - Cullen

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What the Plastic Packaging Tax means for your business

A lot has changed in the two years since the Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) was announced in Budget 2020. Businesses have faced political and pandemic-induced challenges on a scale not experienced in modern times. Yet, the need for environmental action to preserve and protect the planet has intensified not waned and the PPT is needed now more than ever. There is no doubt, however, that it will bring further challenges to businesses.

What exactly is the Plastic Packaging Tax?

From April 2022, PPT will apply to finished plastic packaging manufactured in, or imported into, the UK where the plastic used in its manufacture is less than 30% recycled at a cost of £200 per metric tonne of plastic packaging.

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.

Evidence will need to be retained to confirm the quantities of plastic packaging so that this can be audited by HMRC. All relevant data will need to be recorded and reported. This will include the total amount in weight and a breakdown by weight of the materials used to manufacture plastic packaging and both the data and the calculations used to determine if a packaging component is, for the most part plastic, and how much recycled plastic it contains. 

How will it affect your business?

Both the additional data requirements and the tax itself will make plastic packaging more expensive and more resource intensive. With brand responsibility and reputation also at stake, it is essential that businesses know and trust the providence of their packaging. The global marketplace has offered competitive pricing but has led to wider distances in the relationships in the supply chain. Advantages previously offered by imported plastic packaging will be impacted by increased prices and the regulatory need for reliable data.

How can Cullen help?

With a one-hundred-year heritage of making paper perform alongside continuous innovation and growth, Cullen is uniquely placed to help businesses create packaging that protects products, profits and the planet.

Cullen’s moulded pulp packaging, manufactured using a zero-waste internal recycling process from a single-site in the UK, can replace its plastic counterparts without reducing protection and at a comparable price point, meaning plastic tax complications can be avoided altogether.

David MacDonald, Owner of Cullen, said “The Plastic Packaging Tax encourages the work Cullen has been doing for years; reducing 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 which is the most widely recycled material in the UK. Moulded pulp is compostable and will biodegrade up to 450 years earlier than single-use plastic. Since 2020 we have replaced over 1 billion pieces of single-use plastics and our research and development team are constantly reviewing our processes and market offerings to find innovative solutions to alleviate the plastic problem.

As a full-service moulded pulp manufacturer we design and produce all tools on site to ensure product consistency for our customers. By keeping all elements of productions in house, we safeguard the manufacturing process which allows us to maintain the highest standards of quality control and enables us to react quickly to changing market trends and spikes in demand, as well as reducing lead times.”

“We are excited to know the products we manufacture can help our customers be part of the solution to a global problem”.

Can Cullen’s moulded pulp replace plastic?

It can and it does! Cullen’s capabilities to replace plastic are significant, and more importantly, already proven.

Cullen’s off-the-shelf product range is extensive. 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.

Transit packaging for industries from drinks to industrial are also well catered for at Cullen. Extensive engineering, design knowledge and skill have gone into creating highly protective solutions, which have been recently DPD-Approved, often well outperforming commonly used plastic options.

This knowledge and skill also means that bespoke solutions for your packaging needs are designed, produced and dispatched all from one site allowing for speed and precision in the collaborative process. This is achievable by our bespoke patented machinery, designed and hand-crafted by our expert engineers, making much of our plant unique and singularly capable of producing to any specification, scale and quality impossible in other factories. 

Not only is the performance quality guaranteed, the manufacturing capability ensures customer confidence. Just one of Cullen’s many machines can produce half a million units per day meaning low MOQs and competitive prices for customers seeking alternatives to single-use plastic packaging.

With its endless potential and possibilities, moulded pulp is future-proofed packaging to be proud of. Cullen has already created solutions to solve packaging problems for hundreds of customers including NHS, Siemens, Bunzl, Greggs, McDonalds and ASDA. If you have a problem replacing plastic in your packaging – and avoiding the complications and cost of the Plastic Packaging Tax – Cullen are ready for any challenge.