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What does this mean?

The world is striving to become greener by the day - which is exceptionally good news for us and our planet. Governments across the world are implementing new monetary incentives as an attempt to reduce plastic-use and, as a result, plastic waste off the back of the COP22 summit that was held in Scotland last year. 

The UK government announced in January that a Plastic Packaging Tax will be introduced on 1st April. What does this mean? Well, if you as an eCommerce business either manufacture or import 10 or more tonnes of “finished plastic packaging components” over a period of 12 months, you may need to register for this tax. The tax itself will be charged at £200 a tonne. There is a decision that needs to be made as to whether you need to register for this tax - you can read more on the Government website to ascertain whether you need to do this.

What does our Head of Delivery think?

Let’s hear from Chris White about how the implementation of this new tax affects you as fulfilmentcrowd customers based on our present packaging offering.

“The introduction of the packaging tax will generate a degree of discussion around the suitability of the available options already in use for deliveries handled by fulfilmentcrowd. However, the question to be asked is actually a dual challenge as there are two sightly different aspects of this legislation being introduced.”

Chris goes on to outline the question as follows:

  • Are the packaging materials in use at fulfilmentcrowd made from recycled items?
  • Are they then recyclable once used to deliver a package to the consumer?

The answer to the first question according to Chris, is that all of the packaging employed by fulfilmentcrowd is made from at least 30% recycled materiel for plastic and more than 70% recycled content for card and paper. 

Amazingly, this is percentage is above the current legislative minimums - which also  include items that are seemingly unfriendly from an environmental point of view, such as plastic mailing bags.

The second question, however, is much harder to answer with certainty. Are the materials able to be recycled? Definitely. Will the provisions from local councils in all areas of the country make this happen? Almost certainly not. Where recycling is concerned, much depends on the local authority you live in. Carboard and Paper are successfully recycled in most areas with significant percentages collected and processed economically across the country. 

Unfortunately, Plastic is a trickier problem to resolve, with some areas seeing recycling rates of less than 5% because the capability of the council facilities is just so limited. Items that are available to be recycled oftentimes end up in incinerator plants or landfill because councils do not have access to economically sustainable solutions for recycling. A lack of 'quality' material that is free from contamination unfortunately still undermines the desired targets for recycling in many areas across the country.


How can we help?

That is the question we're sure you're asking yourselves. We pride ourselves on not just being a network of fulfilment centres, but a partner that can assist you with your operational concerns within your eCommerce business. With that, there are tons of other options that can be discussed to enhance the ‘green’ credentials for each order delivery.

From removing any plastic from use in delivery packaging or switching to a form of plastic that includes biological additives such as bamboo or sugar-cane to produce a ‘degradable’ plastic that is much more environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, these choices tend to come with a form of compromise either in terms of appearance or cost.

If looking at different packaging solutions is something you can do for your online brand, these can be discussed with a member of our friendly fulfilmentcrowd team.

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