Sustainability is high on the global agenda and that’s why governments are more often introducing environmental taxes. New legislation and regulations in this area are also being rapidly adopted. Although plastic tax is not a new phenomenon, governments in regions and countries wanting to protect the environment are increasingly considering this tax as a viable option to tackle climate change and do something about waste and pollution. Plastic tax is part of a growing trend in this area and is being used as a means to promote sustainability and the circular economy.

What does a plastic tax mean for your business?

Plastic tax

Higher additional costs

More attention is now being paid to plastic products, not only at the European level but also globally. Many countries have been quick to introduce a plastic tax. The introduction of a plastic tax in the EU and in countries where companies are active or have production plants may see businesses confronted with high additional costs.


Cost increase

The impact on businesses may vary from country to country, depending on the type of plastic tax. The direct effect is an increase in costs for affected manufacturers and importers as in-scope plastic products attract the plastic tax.

Ontwikkelingen plastic tax

Plastic taxes developments

These cost increases can also have indirect consequences for the entire downward logistics chain. For example, companies that purchase plastic packaging or components, or consumers who buy plastic products. It is essential that companies stay abreast of developments surrounding plastic tax.

Where to start?

A good place to start is by checking the extent to which the following questions relate to your organization:

  • What type of plastic is in scope (single-use, plastic bags, microplastics, plastic waste)?
  • Will restrictions on the percentage of recyclable vs. non-recyclable plastic content be introduced?
  • At what point will plastic be taxed (upon import, production, distribution, market entry)?
  • What are the reporting obligations? Will new systems have to be introduced to keep track of the percentage of non-recyclable plastic used?
  • Are there other plastic charges or waste collection contributions in place in the country in which an organization operates?

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