Adoption of the European plastic tax

Adoption of the European plastic tax

On 7 October 2020, Italian Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Isabella Tovaglieri of the Identity and Democracy Group, posed a written parliamentary question to the European Commission:

“At its plenary session of 16 September 2020, Parliament adopted a resolution calling for a new system of own resources, including, inter alia, a tax on non-recycled plastic packaging from 1 January 2021.

However, a number of subjective and objective aspects of the tax have not been specified, leaving considerable uncertainty among economic stakeholders in the sector.

Moreover, the issue of imported products and how the tax is to be applied to non-European operators has not been addressed.

Can the Commission therefore say:

1. How the entities required to pay the tax are to be identified and what the criteria are for identifying taxable entities;

2. How it intends to apply the tax to imported products;

3. How it intends to harmonise the European tax and avoid double taxation where another tax of the same kind is in force in a Member State, and whether it intends to exempt packaging that is in direct contact with food, or provide for a different tax on such packaging?”

On 26 November, Budget and Administration Commissioner Johannes Hahn, responded on behalf of the European Commission stating:

“The plastic own resource will be proportional to the quantity of non-recycled plastic packaging waste generated in each Member State with a correction mechanism to avoid excessively regressive impact on national contributions. This will provide an incentive for Member States to reduce the quantity of plastic packaging waste. Member States will design the most suitable measures to reduce the quantity of the non-recycled plastic packaging waste. They can achieve this objective through a pricing instrument (as a tax or charge) but also via regulation or promoting better recycling.

The proposal for an own resource based on non-recycled plastic packaging waste is not a tax, but a contribution by the Member States to the EU budget, which aims at implementing the objectives of the Plastic Strategy and supporting the EU recycling objectives. In full respect of subsidiarity, there is no obligation for Member States to seek a contribution on the non-recycled plastic packaging waste from actors at national level.”


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