85 years of packaging solutions - since 1937
85 years of packaging solutions - since 1937

The Plastic Tax: What We’re Doing To Save Money For Our Customers

The Plastic Tax

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It's a year on since the government introduced the new plastic tax. This blog looks at what the plastic tax is, what the implications are and how we can help our customers overcome any costs.

Wait... what plastic tax?

77% of businesses are unaware of PPT

In a recent study by Veolia, they reported that 77% of UK retail and manufacturing businesses are still unaware of the UK plastic tax, despite being introduced at the beginning of April. If you are in this majority group, fear not as we have a full run-down of the new plastic tax (PPT) and how we can help your meet measures and reduce plastic consumption.

So what is the plastic tax (PPT)?

The new plastic tax has been brought in to incentivise the use of recycled material in the production of plastic packaging.

The legislation places a tax of £200 per tonne on any plastic packaging that doesn’t include 30% recycled material. 

This applies to manufactured or imported goods and will affect a wide variety of businesses – packaging, industrial, consumer goods, retail (the list goes on). Essentially this tax applies to any business that imports plastic packaging or products contained in plastic packaging into the UK or manufactures plastic packaging in the UK.

What should I be doing?

The PPT will mean that companies across Britain will need to have a holistic view of their operations, determining the overall level of plastic consumption across the business in order to meet compliance regulations. 

If they haven’t already, companies should be identifying any elements of their supply chain where plastic is currently being used and develop a strategy to comply with the tax.

For our customers, we are pleased to announce that most of our standard polypropylene strapping will contain at least 30% recycled material. 

This is alongside our PET polyester strapping range which is already made of 100% recycled material.

What is polypropylene strap?

Polypropylene (PP) was invented in the late 1950s and in the subsequent years became widely recognised as the de facto method of securing product for transit and security across multiple markets. PP has a high tensile strength and is relatively cheap to produce.

Polypropylene strap has a resin code of 5 and is 100% recyclable. Unfortunately, local authorities are not widely incentivised to collect & clean PP for recycling. Better incentives lie in the collection of sorted materials to be sent to EfW (Energy from Waste) plants because plastics have a higher calorific value amongst household waste.

A closed-loop process is possible: some organisations use ‘chippers’ to chop the strap into smaller pieces to make it easy to collect and return for effective recycling however this is few and far between mainly because significant volumes of chipped strap are required to make this a worthy investment.

From a polypropylene strapping point-of-view, there are three key factors that must be considered: 


High speed performance and reliability


Tensile strength

Quality control

Consistent and quality in volume control

Adding a minimum of 30% recycled content poses challenges to those criteria above, however we have been working tirelessly to test the new-look recycled strap and ensure that the overall quality doesn’t diminish.

Our promise

Gordian Strapping Ltd plan to offer as many PP strapping grades as possible with 30% recycled material content.

We recommend trialling these grades through customer strapping machines to fully test compatibility with their products and equipment. Gordian’s sales team can advise which of our standard product specifications is already available with 30% recycled product content.

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