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EU Plastic Tax Approved by European Council

A Danger for the EU Single Market & Recovery

With its latest agreement on the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and coronavirus recovery fund, the European Council has also approved the implementation of the so-called plastic tax as of the 1st of January 2021. The plan foresees a 0.80 EUR/kg levy on non-recycled plastic packaging waste to be paid by member states into the EU budget.


While the tax has been presented by the European Commission as “contribution to the EU budget designed to incentivise member states to increase recycling from plastic waste”, the European plastics industry is warning that it might have the opposite effect. Further fiscal measures are not the most efficient tool to drive innovation and investments that are needed to meet the intended policy objectives of the Green Deal.

“As the revenues of the EU plastic tax are not earmarked to be invested into the waste and recycling infrastructure, it will not increase the recycling of plastic waste in Europe,” Said EuPC Managing Director Alexandre Dangis. ”Instead, it will further increase the cost of plastic recycling and encourage the shift to other packaging materials with a bigger environmental impact. To truly increase recycling rates across Europe and protect the environment, taxation of the landfilling of plastic packaging waste would be more efficient.

Improving the recycling of plastics packaging requires considerable investment by the entire plastics value chain in innovation, new machinery, and the ecological design of plastic packaging. With expected revenues of around 6-8 billion EUR per year flowing into the general budget of the EU, this money would not be available anymore to be invested in the transition towards a circular economy.

As a next step, further details on the tax will have to be worked out in a specific law and approved by the European Parliament and Council of the EU. While much of the details remain obscure up to now, it is already clear that the member states will have large freedom in the implementation of the measures to collect the funds to be transferred to the EU. The implementation and complexity of different schemes from country to country will lead to a host of heterogeneous measures destroying the single market.

Additional information
  • 06-17-2020

    EuPC President Receives Second Term of Office

    Association Holds First Virtual General Assembly

    During the first virtual general assembly of European plastics processors, the president for the period 2020 to 2022 was also elected.   more

  • 05-01-2020

    How Plastic Products Contribute to the Fight Against COVID-19

    A Statement of the EuPC

    What the European Plastics Converters (EuPC) claim in an open letter to the European Commission.   more

  • 10-28-2019

    Plastics Industry Associations against the Italian Plastic Tax

    Warning from EuPC, PlasticsEurope and PRE

    The three Presidents of the European plastics industry associations Renato Zelcher, Javier Constante and Ton Emans agreed to oppose the Italian Government’s tax proposal of 1000 EUR per ton of plastic packaging.   more

  • 09-23-2019

    More Recycled Plastics

    EuPC Signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration

    The declaration describes the commitments for action to reach the EU target to incorporate 10 million t of recycled plastics into products in the EU annually by 2025.   more

  • 01-15-2019

    Use of Recycled Plastics Materials

    EuPC Publishes Results of its 2nd Survey

    The vast majority of plastics converters is convinced that the improvement of collection and sorting of plastic waste would be the most suitable way to increase the quality of rPM.   more

  • Taxes, Bans, and Regulations
    Kunststoffe international 2018/08, PAGE 6 - 8

    Taxes, Bans, and Regulations

    How the EU Plastics Strategy and Upcoming Legislation Will Affect the Plastics Industry

    Plastic in general and particularly plastic packaging is more than ever in the center of attention. It is evident that the whole industry...   more

  • 10-27-2017

    EuPC Publishes Results of its Survey on the Use of Recycled Plastics Materials

    The report gives detailed insights into the current state of affairs regarding the use of rPM by plastics converting companies and provides information for authorities and organisations as well as companies throughout the whole plastics value chain.   more

Company profile

EuPC European Plastics Converters

Avenue de Cortenbergh 71
Tel.: +32 2 732-4124
Fax: +32 2 732-4218

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