A new tax on unreusable plastic packaging is applicable from 2023

A new tax on packaging is being introduced, with the aim of reducing the use of non-reusable plastic packaging. This special tax on packaging applies to plastic and other materials used in the production of packaging and is an attempt to reduce the environmental impact. The new tax will apply to all products containing plastic intended to allow short-term disposable or re-use.

There are obligations for manufacturers, importers and customers to know about the new excise duty, including an order regulating their importation. The applicable rate varies depending on whether the plastic is reusable or not; with a higher rate for non-reusable plastics, and a lower rate for reusable plastics from 1 January 2021 onwards.

This new environmental tax aims to encourage the use of recycled plastic instead of virgin plastic in certain products, as well as to encourage companies to find alternative solutions to disposable plastics. It remains to be seen how this new regulation will affect both businesses and consumers, but it is certainly a step in the right direction towards waste reduction.

Objective of the new law and how it affects us

With the recent ratification of Law 7/2022, the new Waste and Contaminated Lands Act for a Circular Economy, a new tax on disposable plastic packaging has been integrated and established from 1 January 2023.

Its aim is to reduce the amount of disposable plastics that reach the environment and damage our natural ecosystems. It will apply to all non-reusable plastic packaging, such as stock exchanges, glasses, containers and bottles, and companies will have to pay a fee for every kilogram of plastic they use. This tax will be used to finance initiatives promoting circular economies and sustainable materials, as well as research into alternative solutions.

The government also plans to introduce stricter regulations on plastic packaging in future in order to further reduce its environmental impact. If we take these measures now, we can help protect our planet for future generations and create a healthier world for all.

Special tax on packaging

In an effort to reduce waste and its environmental impact, many countries around the world have introduced a new tax on packaging. This tax imposes an additional cost on products packaged in non-recyclable or non-biodegradable materials, encouraging manufacturers and retailers to switch to greener alternatives. In this article, we will consider what a tax on packaging is, who it affects and how it can help reduce the global waste problem.

Packaging taxes are a type of environmental tax designed to discourage the use of disposable plastics and other harmful materials that take centuries to break down. By making the production and purchase of these materials more expensive, manufacturers are encouraged to switch to greener options. Taxes on packaging also act as a source of income for governments, allowing them to invest in sustainable initiatives such as recycling infrastructures or clean energy projects.

To whom does it apply?

Packaging tax applies mainly to producers and suppliers of consumer goods such as food, drink, cosmetics, textiles and electronic products. In some cases it also affects retailers who sell packaged products in non-recyclable materials. The amount of tax varies from one country to another, but usually ranges from 0.03% to 0.05% of the value of the article for recyclable packaging or biodegradable alternatives such as paper boxes or cardboard.

In addition to helping to reduce waste, a packaging tax can also benefit consumers by raising awareness of sustainable choices. It encourages companies to be more transparent about their practices in the supply chain, while making environmentally friendly options more accessible and affordable for purchasers. Ultimately, this helps to create a green economy that benefits all those involved, from producers to end consumers.

If your company manufactures non-reusable plastic packaging, or carries out intra-Community purchases or imports of this type of product beyond certain monthly limits, it may be affected by the new tax that has entered into force in 2023 and which affects this type of operation.

By way of example, this new tax may affect the unrecycled plastic of a water bottle, the plastic that wraps a package of water bottles, or the plastic that protects a pallet with various packages of bottles.

The tax is EUR 0.45 per kilogram of unrecycled plastic. Furthermore, those obliged to comply with this tax must fulfil certain formal obligations that must be taken into account.

The tax applies to the plastic used and not recycled in the European Union. This means that any company that manufactures, drinks or uses this type of non-recycling plastic will have to pay this tax. Businesses affected by this new law will have to register with their national tax authority and comply with the submission and payment requirements set for this type of tax.

The aim of this new tax is twofold: firstly, to encourage companies to adopt more sustainable practices when using plastic, such as the use of recyclable materials; secondly, to raise funds to invest in research into ways of reducing plastic waste.

The European Commission estimates that the new tax could raise between EUR 5 and 7 billion per year for environmental protection projects. The funds raised are expected to be used for research into innovative solutions for reducing plastic waste, such as the development of biodegradable plastics or the search for alternative materials.

Specific obligations include:

1. Registration in the government department responsible for the collection of this tax (usually the local tax authority).

2. To carry a register of the unrecycled plastic that has been bought, used or sold for a given period of time.

3. Calculate and pay the tax reported for the non-recycled plastic acquired, used or sold during each period.

4. To submit an annual statement to the government body charged with collecting the tax within a specified period of time each year.

5. To provide documents justifying the statements submitted in order to demonstrate compliance with the applicable legislation.

Tax Agency Information

Información general

Base Imponible, tipo impositivo y cuota tributaria

Beneficios fiscales

Liquidación y pago del Impuesto. Inscripción, obligaciones contables. Repercusión. Nombramiento de representante.


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