How companies are preparing for the plastics tax

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With the "European Green Deal", the EU introduced a polymer tax for its member states more than a year ago: For every kilogram of non-recycled plastic, they have to pay 80 cents to Brussels. To finance the tax, each country relies on its own measures. Whether it's national plastic taxes or other levy increases, finding your way through the jungle of new regulations is not so easy for plastics processors.

Keeping up to date with national regulations

Both individual states' implementation and timelines vary - and are constantly changing. It is therefore essential for polymer processors to keep abreast of new developments - not only in the countries where they produce, but also to which they export. In Germany, for example, it is not yet clear what form a national polymer tax might take. However, the new government has announced in its coalition agreement that the EU plastic tax will be passed on to manufacturers and distributors. Italy and Spain already have more concrete ideas for their own implementations, but both countries have postponed the introduction of their plastic tax until 2023. Further ahead is Great Britain: A tax on packaging manufacturers was introduced on April 1. This is due if packaging or packaging components are mainly made of plastic - unless at least 30% recycled material has been used. Not only local manufacturers are affected, but also companies that export more than 10 tons of plastic packaging to the UK over a 12-month period. The processor must pay whenever it has made the last significant change to a packaging component - currently 200 pounds sterling per ton. This is the rule of thumb, from which there are of course exceptions - for example for certain product groups such as medicines or tertiary packaging.

Selecting sustainable material alternatives

Regardless of how far along individual countries are - companies had better check early on whether and how they can switch to recycled materials. On the one hand, because it is cheaper in perspective; on the other hand, in order to achieve their own sustainability goals or to meet society's desire for more sustainable products. But which recycled material is best suited for which application and what technical equipment is required to process a particular recyclate? Meraxis knows the re­quire­ments and has the necessary know-how to clarify technical issues of this kind. Regardless of whether this involves materials or machine technology. To get an initial overview of the most suitable recyclates, Meraxis provides interested companies with a digital recyclate finder. Based on technical parameters, such as MFI or density, we can suggest the appropriate materials for the corresponding application.