HMRC update on Plastic Packaging Tax

18 AUGUST 2021

Published 20 July 2021

Updated Plastic Packaging Tax guidance

To tackle the pressing global issue of plastic pollution, the government remains committed to introducing the world leading Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) from April 2022. 

To support businesses, earlier this year HMRC published Get your business ready for the Plastic Packaging Tax guidance on GOV.UK, which provides an overview and further information on the tax. The Further information for businesses part of this guidance has now been updated to provide greater detail on the types of plastic packaging subject to the tax, including single-use products, such as carrier bags, sandwich bags and disposable cups. The updated information is in section 2 of the guidance. We are looking to follow-up this guidance with other materials to help aid understanding on types of plastic packaging subject to the tax.

Additional detailed guidance and support to businesses will be provided later this year.

PPT primary legislation update

Finance Bill 2021, which contains the primary legislation for PPT, gained Royal Assent in June, and is now the Finance Act 2021. The parliamentary debates on the act showed there continues to be general cross party support for the tax. There have been no amendments made to the tax’s primary legislation as part of its passage through parliament.

The primary legislation can be viewed on The relevant legislation for PPT is contained in Part 2 of the Act, in sections 42 to 85 and accompanying schedules 9 to 15.

PPT secondary legislation for technical consultation

Alongside the updated guidance, HMRC has published draft secondary legislation for technical consultation. This legislation amends the meaning of a plastic packaging component and clarifies who the taxable business will be by further defining when last substantial modification takes place. The draft legislation is available on GOV.UK at Draft legislation: Plastic Packaging Tax and consists of the following documents:

  • Draft statutory instruments: descriptions of products
  • Draft statutory instruments: substantial modification
  • Explanatory memorandum: descriptions of products regulations
  • Technical note: substantial modification

The Tax information and impact note on GOV.UK - Introduction of Plastic Packaging Tax from April 2022 - has also been updated as part of consultation publications.

The government welcomes feedback on whether the legislation works as intended. The technical consultation runs from 20 July to 11:45pm on 17 August 2021. Please provide any comments to

Publication of further draft secondary legislation for PPT will follow later this year.