From: Packaging News
The Foodservice Packaging Association has spoken out against the government’s plan to target sandwich packaging with a new 15p tax.
The bid to reduce waste, which is set to add 15p to prices, could be introduced by Environment Secretary Michael Gove as early as this week.
Gove said he wants to recoup the cost of dealing with packs where mixed materials makes them ‘impossible to recycle’.
The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs’ (Defra) approach to waste reduction has been criticised by the Foodservice Packaging Association executive director Martin Kersh, who commented: “Recent media coverage (including The Sunday Times and The Sun) appears to suggest a 15p ’tax’ on sandwich packs will be a feature of Defra’s soon to be launched Resource and Waste Strategy. This indicates two different approaches to packaging are being taken by the Government. The Treasury wishes to create behaviour change in its soon to be consulted plastics tax. The Chancellor announced the tax would come into effect in April 2022 and that specific packaging will not be targeted.
“Defra by contrast appears to be disregarding this approach as well as the proposals for a reformed PRN system made by businesses, which will address the issues of increasing recycling and increasing recycled content. Will Defra’s proposals for Extended Producer Responsibility guarantee all the funds raised be used for collection, sortation and recycling of packaging? What are the guarantees the money will be used in this way and will businesses providing this funding be given a say as to how the money is used?
“Sandwiches appear to be one of a number of items that will be additionally charged. Given this packaging will be included in EPR we need to understand how the additional revenue is to be used. In the case of the figures given in the press coverage, sandwich packs alone will produce revenue in excess of £500 million. Is this money to be used constructively or is Defra’s aim to reduce consumption and tax the working public?
“On the go waste management is urgently needed and the Government needs a holistic approach to the issue rather than as we are seeing with straws and now sandwich packs, taking a piecemeal approach. We hope the Resource and Waste Strategy will provide joined up thinking and that the press rumours are misplaced.”