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Is There Going To Be A Tax On Single-Use Plastics?

To be sustainable, maybe we need one ...

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Posted by Roger Eddowes on 11/11/2019 @ 8:00AM

I read with great interest an excellent blog post by Jacky Sherman of Asentiv entitled Teabags And The Art of Saving The Planet. This got me wondering about a tax on single-use plastic ...

Will a tax on single-use plastic encourage us to use less of it?

Will a tax on single-use plastic encourage us to use less of it?

copyright: ljupco / 123rf

You can take a look at her blog post yourself by clicking here. Single-use plastics are absolutely everywhere and as Jacky points out, plastic holds teabags together, so even the morning brew of the day is damaging the planet. Reversing the damage on the planet by us humans
is now regularly in the news.

Whether it’s carbon emissions or plastic waste stories like this are always in the news. The Government is aiming for the UK to be carbon neutral by 2050, but what is it doing about the plastic in the humble teabag?

Well, the Treasury has pointed to 2022 as the year that a tax on single-use plastic will come in, with the first draft legislation likely to published next year. Initial consultations have already taken place with, I believe over 160,000 representations, so I reckon something will hit the Finance Act before 2022.

The Treasury is already encouraging sustainability and green credentials by:

  • Having a nil benefit in kind charge on electric cars in the 2020/21 tax year

  • Extending the cycle to work scheme to include bicycles over £1,000 and electric bikes

  • Providing research and development tax credits

Will it provide us an incentive not to use plastic at all or just tax single-use plastic? Only time will tell, but what can you do now in the office to encourage sustainability?

In addition to dispensing with teabags we could:

  • Dispense with plastic water cups

  • Review the energy efficiency of our premises

  • Print documents double-sided or even better, go paperless completely

  • Use stationery made from recycled material (I was given a pencil yesterday made from recycled bank notes so the Bank of England is doing its bit ... or was it money laundering!)

  • Make sure electrics are all powered-down and switched off overnight

  • Add some plants to the office to improve indoor air quality and bring in some nature

  • Encourage the cycle to work scheme or walk to work if possible

If we were to all pick just one of these ways to be more sustainable, the impact would be huge. So let’s not wait until the tax on single-use plastics comes into force and start doing our bit for the planet now.

Until next time ...

Business Godparent


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About Roger Eddowes ...


Roger trained at Edward Thomas Peirson & Sons in Market Harborough before working at Hartwell & Co, followed by Chancery, as a partner. He started Essendon Accounts and Tax with Helen Beaumont in 2014 as a general practitioner with a hands-on approach.

Roger loves getting his hands dirty, working with emerging, small-to-medium and family businesses to ensure they receive the best possible accountancy advice. Roger utilises an extensive network of business contacts to leverage the best guidance and practical solutions.