Thursday, 11th January, 2018

British Takeaway Campaign to explore ‘workable solutions’ to packaging tax

Theresa May has revealed her plans to tackle plastic waste and has stressed the need to reduce demand for plastics, to reduce the number of plastics in circulation and improve recycling rates.

The food service industry is likely to be heavily impacted by the proposed ‘packaging tax’ and while food manufacturers and operators are very much for refining the industry via improved recycling and awareness of packaging used, many are opposed to the tax and the impending ‘latte levy’.

In her speech Ms May expressed the intention to ‘take action at every stage of the production and consumption of plastic.’ Adding, ‘as it is produced, we will encourage manufacturers to take responsibility for the impacts of their products and rationalise the number of different types of plastics they use.’

The British Takeaway Campaign, an umbrella group representing those involved in the supply and preparation of the nation’s favourite foods, today (Thursday) commented on Theresa May’s environment strategy, including a consultation on taxes/charges on single use plastics. 

Ibrahim Dogus, Chair of the British Takeaway Campaign, said: “While we agree that more needs to be done to reduce the use of plastics, a tax isn’t the right answer, as it will lead to increased costs for consumers and hurt the many small and independent businesses that make up the UK’s takeaway sector.

“Most takeaways are responsible when it comes to dealing with litter and the sector is already taking steps to encourage consumers to reduce, reuse and recycle. With takeaways reliant on having a cost effective solution to keeping customers’ food hot, an additional plastic tax will harm the prospects of an industry which contributes £9.4bn to the economy.

“The British Takeaway Campaign will be consulting our members, such as the Foodservice Packaging Association, to explore workable alternative solutions which do not increase costs for small businesses or lead to higher prices for customers.”

Biopac, one of the UKs leading packaging manufacturers also opposes the tax stressing that ‘taxing the use of these items is not an effective way forward’ and that it ‘merely patches over the underlying issues with waste management and infrastructure in the UK.’ 

As the leading UK developer and supplier of environmentally responsible packaging and catering disposables Mark Brigden, Technical Director of Biopac has revealed their sadness at the lack of conversation on compostable products, adding; “Compostables provide a market ready solution across the catering disposable market, yet the focus remains on oil based plastics and recycling. A compostable range eliminates the need for sorting and filtering of waste.

He continued; “Standard collection bins could be issued for all food waste and compostable packaging to be disposed of together – reducing costs and also providing a streamlined waste collection service.

“We welcome the ongoing discussions surrounding this important issue but will continue to push for compostable packaging to form part of the solution. Hopefully this is the start of the major overhaul to the waste infrastructure that is so desperately needed in the UK.”