Leading UK manufacturers of plastic housewares have come together to form a BHETA (British Home Enhancement Trade Association) steering committee to focus on the use of plastic and new legislation. As a result of individual and collective lobbying by the new steering committee, BHETA has secured a meeting the HMRC’s Alex Marsh (who is leading the Plastic Packaging Tax initiative) at the end of March.
So far the companies involved in the BHETA steering committee are: What More UK, Strata Products, Addis, Taylor’s Eye Witness, EKO, simplehuman, Newell, Lifetime Brands, Whitefurze, JML and DNC UK.
The Government recently made last minute additions to the draft Plastic Packaging Tax legislation, which extended its scope to include consumer goods as well as packaging. BHETA is highlighting the need to address the impact of single use plastic packaging, as opposed to penalising multi-use consumer products made from plastic.
Will Jones, BHETA’s chief operating officer has emphasised that: “The last minute inclusion of items such as storage boxes, buckets and plastic food containers runs contrary to the encouragement of multiple use plastics as a replacement for single use.”
He elaborated: “Multi-use plastic – combined with improved recycling – is part of the solution to the problem of plastic waste pollution and Government should be making a distinction between single use packaging and multiple use, lifetime consumer goods in daily use. Unfortunately, the current draft legislation appears not to do this, and it is essential that we communicate this point and ensure that future legislation starts by addressing the immediate issues.”
He also emphasised that suppliers are “working hard to reduce the amount of single use plastic packaging and the industry in general uses many millions of tons of recycled plastic packaging as its raw material for product manufacture.”
Under the new legislation, from April 2022 all plastic items used in the packaging of products must include a minimum of 30% recycled content, or face taxes of £200 per metric tonne of chargeable plastic packaging components.
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Above: Innovative new compost bin by EKO, one of the plastic housewares suppliers that have joined the new BHETA steering group.