Budget 2020: Climate change

Plastic tax aims to help protect environment

North Bridge demo - Extinction Rebellion

Climate in focus

A new ‘plastic tax’ will help the government live up to its pledge to protect the environment, according to chancellor Rishi Sunak.

From April 2022, the government is to introduce a new plastic packaging tax which will charge manufacturers and importers £200 per tonne on packaging made of less than 30% recycled plastic.

Mr Sunak said this will raise the use of recycled plastic packaging by 40% and save around 200,00 tonnes of carbon emissions.

The chancellor used his first Budget to outline plans to increase taxes on pollution by freezing climate change levies on electricity and hiking tax rates for gas from April 2022.

He also revealed he would extend the climate change agreement scheme for an additional two years to encourage the most energy-intensive industries to transition to net zero. There was also a pledge that research and development investment in the UK’s energy innovation programme would be doubled to £1bn.

Included in a range of climate-friendly announcements, there will also be an investment of £500m to back the roll-out of rapid EV charging hubs, while the chancellor said it will become cheaper to buy low emission vehicles with taxes cut on clean transport.

“Green jobs, better flood defences, cheaper electric vehicles, innovative new technology. We promised to protect our environment, we’re getting it done,” said Mr Sunak.


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