Britain will levy a new tax on those who make or import plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled material, finance minister Philip Hammond said on Monday.
The measure, to be introduced in April 2022 subject to consultation, is an attempt to reduce waste and help tackle climate change.
"We will introduce a new tax on the manufacture and import of plastic packaging which contains less than 30% recycled plastic transforming the economics of sustainable packaging," Hammond announced as part of his annual budget.
"The tax will provide a clear economic incentive for businesses to use recycled material in the production of packaging which in turn will create greater demand for this material," the Treasury said, following Hammond's announcement.
Rupert Haworth, marketing director at Recycling Technologies, which converts waste plastic back into an oil to remake into plastic, said the move would encourage recycling.
"This (...) should stimulate new investment in plastic recycling innovation and capacity here in the UK and provide recycled plastic feedstock to the industry."
Hammond added that he would continue to study the use of single-use plastic in takeaway cups but had concluded that a tax would not be effective in encouraging widespread reuse.