The Farming Social Hub - a voice for the farming community

Plans for plastic tax put on hold

After an extensive lobbying campaign by farming groups, the UK Treasury has decided that the plastic film used by livestock owners will continue to be exempt from plastic packaging tax.

As reported on the Farming Social Hub podcast and this new site, the tax – had it been imposed – would have added to the increased financial burden already being suffered by farmers. With increased fuel prices, labour costs and price of materials, the proposed tax on plastic would have been yet another hit on the bottom line.

The tax would have added an extra £200/tonne from April this year.

Back in December, the Treasury had changed its position on plastic silage wrap, listing it as packaging, which put it in scope for Plastic Packaging Tax.  Extensive lobbying by NFU, NFU Scotland, NFU Cymru and other bodies have persuaded the Treasury to revert to its former position.

It has now been accepted by the Treasury that, whilst silage film falls within the scope of the packaging tax, it is a highly specialised product, the primary purpose of which is to enable the fermentation process needed to produce the silage. That is a ‘non-packaging function’ making it eligible for exemption.

While this is good news in the short term, NFU Scotland’s environmental resources policy manager, Sarah Cowie, said that there was a need for research and development of suitable silage films for the future that were more able to be recycled or produced using an alternative to plastic.