In the rapidly evolving world of flexible packaging, the twin spectres of regulatory changes and environmental sustainability are reshaping industry practices. As the EU steers towards comprehensive packaging sustainability through its revised Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, aiming for all packaging to be reusable or recyclable by 2030, UK’s packaging industry, spearheaded by innovators like Skymark and InterFlex, is rising to the challenge​​.

The UK’s commitment to sustainability is evident in its improved recycling rates, with packaging waste recycling increasing from 59.2% in 2014 to 63.2% in 2021. This progress is catalysed by the UK’s Plastic Packaging Tax, aimed at encouraging the use of recycled plastic, thus promoting a circular economy​​. Skymark and InterFlex, as pioneers in the field, are responding proactively to these regulatory and environmental imperatives with several key innovations:

  1. Elevating Recycled Content in Personal Care Packaging: Skymark has significantly increased the recycled content for SKYMAX in its personal care products, notably achieving 55% recycled content in tissue overwrap and 30% in both PE and PP laminate structures for wet wipes with our SKYMONO range. This not only aligns with global sustainability trends but also sets a precedent in the personal care sector, demonstrating the feasibility of high recycled content in sensitive product categories.
  2. Expanding Paper-Based Product Portfolio: In a bold move towards sustainable alternatives, our expanded range of paper products, such as twist wraps for premium confectionery, is replacing traditional plastic and aluminium wrappers. This initiative responds to consumer demands for eco-friendly packaging and showcases paper as a viable, premium substitute for traditional materials.
  3. Innovating with High Barrier Paper Structures: Catering to a diverse range of sectors including confectionery, cosmetics, and various food products, InterFlex high barrier paper structures address one of the sustainable packaging’s biggest challenges – maintaining product integrity. These structures provide effective alternatives to traditional packaging materials while ensuring product quality and shelf life, whilst being kerbside recyclable.
  4. Optimising Efficiency with Ultra Low SIT: Our increased production of Ultra Low Seal Initiation Temperature (SIT) packaging material PE and CPP – SKYLENE, enhances manufacturing efficiency and reduces energy consumption. This innovation exemplifies how operational efficiency and environmental sustainability can be synergistically aligned.

These innovations reflect a commitment to not just comply with regulatory demands but to lead the way in sustainable packaging solutions. Skymark and InterFlex are setting industry benchmarks, demonstrating that environmental responsibility and commercial viability can coexist harmoniously.

The future of flexible packaging is clearly trending towards sustainability and innovation. The strides made by Skymark and InterFlex serve as a blueprint for the industry, proving that proactive adaptation to regulatory changes and a steadfast commitment to environmental stewardship are not just ethical choices, but savvy business strategies.

In conclusion, as we navigate the transformative landscape of flexible packaging, Skymark and InterFlex stand at the forefront, blending innovation with sustainability. Our journey thus far illustrates our dedication to crafting solutions that not only meet the highest environmental standards but also deliver on quality and efficiency. As we look ahead to 2024, we invite you to join us in this exciting evolution.

Collaborating with our team offers a unique opportunity to tailor and personalise packaging solutions that resonate with your brand values and market demands. Reach out to us, and let’s explore how we can work together to bring innovative, sustainable products to the market, paving the way for a greener, more responsible future in packaging. Together, let’s shape a sustainable tomorrow.

The UK government’s recent unveiling of the Simpler Recycling Scheme heralds a new era in recycling, offering a streamlined approach that resonates with the growing eco-conscious consumer base. This initiative is more than a regulatory alignment; it’s an invitation for brands to bolster their environmental stewardship, a value highly esteemed in today’s market.

At the heart of this scheme is the standardisation of recyclable materials across England, aimed at simplifying the recycling process for both consumers and businesses alike​1​​2​. This is where Skymark’s products like SKYMONO, SKYMAX and SKYMAX R materials seamlessly align, offering packaging solutions that conform to the new recycling standards.

Operational efficiency is another hallmark of the Simpler Recycling Scheme. The proposed categorisation into three waste containers for dry recycling, food waste, and non-recyclable waste sets a clear path for brands to follow​2​. Our products, SKYMONO and PUREFLEX & PAPRFLEX from Interflex Group, are tailored to fit these categories, facilitating a smooth transition to the new waste management regime.

The Simpler Recycling Scheme is not merely a regulatory requisite but a compass directing brands towards a sustainable, competitive frontier. By aligning with this initiative through adaptable, innovative, and efficient packaging solutions like those offered by Skymark, brands are not only navigating the regulatory landscape but are also steering towards a future where environmental responsibility is synonymous with market success.

Environment Secretary Therese Coffey said:

Simpler recycling will help us all recycle more easily, doing our bit to help save the planet and make the best use of precious resources that we use every day.

Alongside weekly food waste collections, we are ending the postcode lottery of what you can put in your bin so that wherever you live in the country, you will be able to recycle the same products with confidence.

Margaret Bates, Managing Director at On-Pack Recycling Label Ltd (OPRL), said:

This announcement is a prompt and clear message that will make planning and operations more efficient for local authorities, packaging producers, brands and waste managers.

In navigating the new directives from the UK government’s Simpler Recycling Scheme, a Head of Packaging finds themselves at the forefront of aligning brand strategies with these evolved recycling standards. Here’s a curated FAQ scenario offering insights into how the scheme impacts plastic packaging for food and household items, elucidating the potential pathways to enhance a brand’s sustainability image, while exploring the collaborative opportunities that the scheme avails.

Through an engaging dialogue with an expert on the scheme, the Head of Packaging delves into practical and innovative solutions, unveiling how Skymark’s products can serve as a pivot in this transition.

Head of Packaging (HoP): How does the Simpler Recycling Scheme impact plastic packaging specifically for food and household items?

Expert: The scheme specifies that “all local authorities in England must collect the same recyclable waste streams for recycling or composting from households,” encompassing plastic among other materials. This emphasizes a standardized approach to recycling, encouraging brands to adopt packaging designs that align with these defined categories to facilitate easier recycling​1​.

HoP: What Skymark products would align well with these requirements?

Expert: Given the scheme’s emphasis on collecting plastic waste, Skymark’s SKYMAX and SKYMAX R materials, designed with recyclability in mind, align well with these requirements. Additionally, SKYMONO & PUREFLEX offer recyclable PE or PP-based structures, providing sustainable packaging solutions for varied applications including household packaging​1​.

HoP: How can we leverage the scheme to enhance our brand’s sustainability image?

Expert: The scheme’s objective to “maximise use, minimise waste and drive up recycling rates” resonates with the modern consumer’s eco-conscious mindset. By aligning with this initiative through sustainable packaging solutions, you’re making a statement about your brand’s commitment to environmental responsibility, thus enhancing your brand’s sustainability image​1​.

HoP: Are there any collaborative opportunities that the scheme encourages, especially around plastic recycling?

Expert: The scheme’s emphasis on standardised recycling opens up collaborative opportunities with local authorities or recycling facilities to ensure efficient plastic waste management. Furthermore, it encourages interactions with packaging experts to explore innovative solutions that enhance the recyclability of plastic packaging for food and household items, aligning with the scheme’s goal to drive up recycling rates​1​.


We are thrilled to announce that Skymark Packaging International Ltd has been awarded the Silver EcoVadis Medal, a significant recognition in the field of corporate sustainability. The EcoVadis Medal is not just a badge but a testament to a company’s commitment to ethical, environmental, and social standards. It serves as a benchmark, demonstrating our dedication compared to other companies in the EcoVadis database. While the medal is not an endorsement of our products or services, it does signify our positive intent and efforts in improving sustainability management performance.

Criteria for the Silver EcoVadis Medal

The EcoVadis Medal has strict criteria that focus on four main themes: Environment, Ethics, Labour & Human Rights, and Sustainable Procurement. To earn a Silver Medal, a company needs to be in the top 25% of companies assessed, with an overall score between 59 and 69. Furthermore, there are specific minimum scores required in each theme area, which are:

  • Environment: Minimum score of 30
  • Ethics: Minimum score of 30
  • Labour & Human Rights: Minimum score of 30
  • Sustainable Procurement: Minimum score of 25
How Skymark Met the Requirements

At Skymark, sustainability is not just a buzzword; it’s embedded in our DNA. Our fully integrated production processes—ranging from Blown PE, Cast PP and PE, to Flexographic printing and beyond—are designed with environmental sustainability in mind. Our initiatives include:

  • Energy-efficient machinery that minimises waste
  • Use of recycled and recyclable materials in our products
  • Employee training programs focused on sustainability best practices

Our efforts have been validated with a high EcoVadis score, positioning us among the top 25% of companies assessed. This score reflects our practices across all four theme areas, substantiating our holistic approach to sustainability.

Earning the Silver EcoVadis Medal is a remarkable milestone for Skymark Packaging International Ltd. It aligns with our company statement: “We look to enable & inspire every individual and organisation to do more, using less.” This recognition reiterates our commitment to providing innovative, forward-thinking flexible packaging solutions that are rooted in sustainable practices.

But what does this medal mean for our team and customers? For our team, it’s a validation of the hard work and dedication that goes into making our operations as sustainable as possible. For our customers, it’s an assurance that when you collaborate with Skymark, you’re partnering with a company that holds itself to the highest ethical and environmental standards.

We see this achievement not as the finish line but as a marker on our ongoing journey toward greater sustainability. We are committed to continuous improvement and are excited about the path that lies ahead.

Insights from Packaging Manufacturers and Brands

In a time of rapidly evolving economic and regulatory landscapes, the recent announcement of the one-year delay to the implementation of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme by the UK Government, until 2025, has stirred mixed reactions. From the perspective of both packaging manufacturers and brands, it’s worthwhile to delve deeper into the implications of this development.

The SWOT Perspective

The delay in the EPR scheme presents a unique set of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) for both packaging manufacturers and brands.

On the one hand, the additional time could be a strength, granting manufacturers the opportunity to innovate and streamline their operations while brands can explore robust strategies to ensure alignment with EPR principles. However, this delay also unveils a potential weakness as it extends the period of uncertainty, challenging strategic planning for both parties.

As for opportunities, the delay allows manufacturers and brands to collaborate with stakeholders, refining strategies for EPR compliance. Conversely, the threat lies in the possibility of criticism, which could potentially harm the perception of commitment to environmental sustainability.

Weighing the Pros and Cons

For both packaging manufacturers and brands, the deferral of the EPR scheme bears varied implications.

On the positive side, the delay offers more time to strategise and prepare for the changes, which could potentially result in a smoother transition to the EPR model. The downside is the prolonged period of uncertainty that could disrupt long-term planning. Moreover, this delay could place the commitment to sustainability of both manufacturers and brands under scrutiny, affecting their public image and customer relationships.

The Larger Picture

Beyond the direct implications for manufacturers and brands, this decision also influences the broader landscape of the UK’s environmental commitments. The delay could potentially slow the progress towards national goals of eliminating avoidable waste by 2050 and achieving net-zero emissions, but the extra time might also enhance the EPR scheme’s effectiveness upon implementation.

The EPR delay offers us an opportunity to further enhance our sustainable practices and refine our packaging solutions. This isn’t a pause in progress, but a chance to improve and innovate, ensuring we deliver top value to our clients and contribute positively to the environment

Dan Richards – Sales & Marketing Director

Spotlight on Success Stories

Manufacturers and brands can use this time to learn from industry pioneers who have innovated in packaging and waste management. These successful case studies offer a roadmap on how to navigate the upcoming EPR compliance while also developing sustainable and profitable strategies.

The Balance Sheet of Sustainability

While the delay offers temporary financial respite, both manufacturers and brands need to consider the long-term economic implications of environmental commitments. With consumers becoming increasingly eco-conscious, sustainable practices, including packaging, are becoming a key market differentiator. Early investments in sustainability could reap significant future rewards.

To sum it up, the delay in the EPR scheme implementation has given both manufacturers and brands valuable time to prepare for the changes ahead, but it’s not without challenges. This interim period needs to be navigated carefully, balancing regulatory compliance with public perception, strategic decision-making, and the push for innovation. The clear goal for all parties involved is to use this additional time to not only prepare for EPR but also to reinforce commitments to sustainable practices, for the benefit of the industry, consumers, and our planet.

A New Horizon for Sustainable Packaging

In the current environmental and economic landscape, the issue of plastic waste has taken centre stage. Governments, businesses, and consumers alike are grappling with the challenge of reducing plastic waste and promoting sustainable practices. One such initiative is the Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT), introduced by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Recently, HMRC has proposed a significant change to this tax – the use of a mass balance approach to account for chemically recycled content in plastic packaging.

The mass balance approach is a method of accounting where the input and output of a process are balanced, and the properties of the input are allocated to the output products. In the context of PPT, this approach would allow businesses to account for the chemically recycled content in their plastic packaging, potentially reducing their tax liability.

The HMRC consultation document outlines the potential implications of this approach. The primary aim is to incentivize the use of chemically recycled plastics, thereby reducing the environmental impact of plastic waste. This could stimulate growth and investment in the emerging sector of chemical recycling, leading to economic development and job creation. However, the proposal is not without its challenges. Implementing a mass balance approach could introduce additional administrative burdens for businesses, requiring them to become certified and provide evidence of the recycled content in their products.

The mass balance approach presents both opportunities and challenges. On the positive side, it could drive the demand for chemically recycled plastic, promote investment in the recycling sector, and enable businesses to reduce their PPT liability. However, it could also introduce additional administrative burdens, create verification challenges, and potentially open the door to misleading environmental claims.

In analyzing these points, it becomes clear that the success of the mass balance approach will largely depend on its implementation. The potential benefits are significant, but they must be balanced against the potential drawbacks. Clear guidelines, robust verification processes, and effective enforcement will be crucial to ensure the integrity of the system and prevent misuse.

Looking ahead, the mass balance approach could represent a significant step forward in the quest for sustainable packaging. However, it is just one piece of the puzzle. Achieving a circular economy for plastics will require a multi-faceted approach, involving not only innovative taxation measures but also advancements in recycling technology, changes in consumer behavior, and global cooperation.

As we reflect on the potential of the mass balance approach, it is clear that this is a complex and evolving issue. The HMRC consultation is an important part of the process, providing an opportunity for stakeholders to contribute their views and help shape the future of the PPT. As the consultation progresses, it will be fascinating to see how this proposal develops and what impact it could have on the future of plastic packaging.

The UK government’s Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) plans are set to reshape the landscape of waste management and recycling in the country. Despite opposition from some industry groups, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is pressing forward with the EPR scheme, which is still on track to be implemented in 2024.

What is EPR?

EPR is a system designed to make firms that supply household packaging more responsible for the costs of dealing with packaging waste. This shifts the financial burden away from councils and taxpayers, encouraging businesses to increase their use of recyclable materials. The EPR system aims to protect the environment from waste, promote resource efficiency, and move towards a more circular economy.

Data Collection and Reporting

Data collection and reporting are key components of the EPR system. Obligated businesses, including many in the packaging industry, must collect data for the revamped packaging producer responsibility system, and pay for the cost of waste collections.

According to the latest information available to Skymark, data will be reported during 2023 using the new data capture format covering household and non-household data. The data will then be used to calculate the estimate using a cost estimator tool for the payments, which will be billed in April 2024 and due to be paid in Q3 2024.

Defra has confirmed that obligated packaging producers in England, Northern Ireland, and Scotland must collect information on the amount and type of packaging they have supplied during 2023. Wales will follow shortly. Producers with a turnover of greater than £2 million and who handle more than 50 tonnes of packaging each year must also report this information to the Environment Agency twice a year. The first reports must be submitted from 1 October 2023.

Preparing for EPR

At this stage, businesses should assess their current data submission format, review all items of eligible waste, assign the relevant type, origin, and material categories, and change their template based on this. This is important as some organisations may be required to not only submit data to DEFRA, but also downstream to their supply chain depending on their position in the chain. By adjusting the reporting format, it will be easier to split those sections out.

Opposition and Cost Concerns

Despite the government’s commitment, the EPR system has met with opposition from industry groups such as the British Retail Consortium (BRCGS), who argue that the EPR and the deposit return scheme (DRS) combined will add around £4 billion in costs to retailers, which will be passed down the line. The Food and Drink Federation, whose members include large producers like Coca-Cola and Unilever, called on ministers to pause the plans, which they claim would add £60 to shopping bills.

However, Defra has listened to feedback from industry and reduced its business waste proposals from £2.7 billion to £1.4 billion. The total net cost of the new EPR system is expected to be around £1.7 billion, a figure significantly lower than early estimations of £2.8 billion.

Looking Ahead

As the 2024 EPR deadline approaches, businesses and industry groups are expected to continue lobbying for changes and clarifications. However, the UK government remains steadfast in its commitment to implementing EPR as part of its wider strategy to protect the environment and promote a more circular economy.

Deep Sagar, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Packaging, has pointed out that packaging materials that are not recycled back into new packaging harm the natural environment. EPR is expected to reduce such waste and encourage goods producers to pay for the collection of all packaging waste, thereby stimulating them to reduce or recycle more packaging. Sagar anticipates that EPR could be a game-changer, reducing the impact packaging has on the environment by regulating material use and increasing recycling.

The EPR system is a part of wider waste reforms introduced by the UK government, which also includes bans on more single-use plastic items, a deposit return scheme for drinks containers, and consistent recycling collections for households and businesses, on top of targets for recycling packaging waste.

The government’s EPR plans are in line with its 2018 Resources and Waste Strategy, which outlines how it intends to preserve material resources by minimizing waste and promoting resource efficiency. The revenue generated from the EPR scheme will support better local council services and ensure that households can recycle the same packaging materials.

In conclusion, the implementation of EPR in the UK is a significant step towards achieving a more sustainable and circular economy. Despite concerns and opposition from certain industry groups, the government stands firm in its belief that the EPR will help preserve material resources, minimize waste, and promote resource efficiency. While the transition may bring challenges, it also presents opportunities for innovation and improved environmental stewardship. As the 2024 implementation date approaches, businesses are advised to prepare accordingly, ensuring they understand their obligations and are ready to embrace the opportunities this major policy shift offers.

In an era where sustainability, efficiency, and quality are paramount, Skymark is at the forefront of delivering innovative packaging solutions. We are proud of SKYMONO BVP – our standout packaging solution designed to meet the specific needs of mince meat producers and packers.

Robust and Environmentally Friendly

SKYMONO BVP is a fully recyclable packaging solution, providing an eco-friendly alternative without compromising on quality. With superior barrier properties, including Oxygen Transmission Rate (OTR <0.5) and Water Vapor Transmission Rate (WVTR <4), it ensures optimal product freshness and shelf life.

Efficiency and Local Production

A significant advantage of SKYMONO BVP lies in its reduced packaging weight compared to traditional packaging methods. Transitioning from tray and top lidding to our flow wrap results in considerable material savings. Likewise, a switch from thermoformed base web and top lidding to our flow wrap also yields a significant reduction in packaging weight.

These reductions not only decrease the overall carbon footprint, but also lead to substantial cost savings for producers and packers, making SKYMONO BVP a win-win solution.

SKYMONO BVP is produced at our Scunthorpe site, ensuring reliable, prompt delivery without concerns over transport disruptions from Europe. Our local production facilities offer peace of mind to our customers who prioritise speed, reliability, and sustainability in their supply chain.


As market demands evolve and sustainability becomes a key driver, Skymark remains committed to providing cutting-edge, responsible packaging solutions. Choose SKYMONO BVP for your mince meat packaging needs – a choice that demonstrates your commitment to quality, efficiency, and the environment.

To learn more about SKYMONO BVP and how it can revolutionize your packaging process, contact Skymark today.

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the environmental impact of packaging materials. Many businesses and consumers are now actively seeking ways to reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future. One effective way to achieve this is by transitioning to recyclable packaging. In this article, we will explore the steps involved in making the switch, how to recycle packaging, the cost implications, and the compelling reasons to embrace sustainable packaging solutions.

How to Transition to Sustainable Packaging

Transitioning to sustainable packaging requires a systematic approach that considers the entire packaging lifecycle. Here are the key steps to follow:

  1. Assess your current packaging: Begin by evaluating your existing packaging materials and identifying areas for improvement. This includes assessing the recyclability of the materials, their environmental impact, and the feasibility of switching to more sustainable alternatives.
  2. Research recyclable packaging options: Explore the market for recyclable packaging solutions that align with your specific product requirements. We offer a range of recyclable structures such as SKYMONO, SKYPAPR, SKYMAX and SKYLENE. These products are designed to be environmentally friendly while maintaining the necessary functionality and protection for your goods.
  3. Collaborate with suppliers: Engage with your packaging suppliers to discuss the possibility of switching to recyclable materials. They can provide valuable insights, recommend suitable alternatives, and guide you through the transition process.
  4. Educate your team: Ensure that your employees are well-informed about the importance of sustainable packaging and how to handle recyclable materials properly. Conduct training sessions to raise awareness and encourage responsible practices throughout your organisation.
  5. Communicate with customers: Transparently communicate your commitment to sustainable packaging to your customers. Highlight the positive environmental impact of the switch and encourage them to participate in recycling initiatives.

How to Recycle Packaging

Recycling packaging plays a vital role in closing the loop and minimising waste. Here are some essential steps to follow:

  1. Check local recycling guidelines: Understand the recycling guidelines specific to your region. Different areas may have different requirements and capabilities when it comes to recycling certain materials. Familiarize yourself with the recycling symbols and labels to ensure proper sorting.
  2. Separate recyclable materials: Sort your packaging materials based on their recyclability. Common recyclable materials include cardboard, paper, glass, metal, and certain types of plastic. Ensure that these materials are clean and free from contaminants before recycling them.
  3. Find recycling facilities: Locate recycling facilities or collection points in your area where you can drop off the recyclable materials. Many communities have designated recycling centers or curbside collection programs. You can also contact local waste management authorities for guidance.
  4. Encourage recycling among consumers: Educate your customers about the recyclability of your packaging materials and provide clear instructions on how to recycle them. Consider incorporating recycling messages and symbols on your packaging to promote responsible disposal.

The Cost of Switching to Sustainable Packaging

One of the concerns businesses often have when considering a switch to sustainable packaging is the potential cost implications. While there may be some initial investment involved, it’s important to view it as a long-term investment in the environment and your brand’s reputation. Here are a few factors to consider:

  1. Material selection: The cost of recyclable packaging materials may vary depending on factors such as material type, quality and quantity. It is essential to compare prices and explore different suppliers to find the most cost-effective options without compromising on quality.
  2. Operational adjustments: Switching to recyclable packaging may require adjustments to your production processes or equipment. There might be a learning curve involved, but over time, these adjustments can lead to more efficient and streamlined operations.
  3. Waste management savings: By embracing recyclable packaging, you can potentially reduce waste disposal costs. Many recycling programs offer incentives or reduced fees for businesses that actively participate in recycling initiatives.
  4. Brand reputation and customer loyalty: Investing in sustainable packaging can enhance your brand’s reputation and attract eco-conscious consumers who value environmentally responsible practices. This, in turn, can lead to increased customer loyalty and support.

While there may be some upfront costs, the long-term benefits, both financially and environmentally, make the switch to sustainable packaging a worthwhile investment.

Why Switch to Sustainable Packaging

There are several compelling reasons why businesses should consider transitioning to sustainable packaging:

  1. Environmental impact: Traditional packaging materials, such as single-use plastics, contribute to pollution, landfills, and marine debris. By using recyclable packaging, you actively reduce waste and conserve natural resources, helping to mitigate the environmental impact of your business operations.
  2. Customer preference: Studies show that a growing number of consumers prioritize sustainable products and packaging. By aligning with their values and offering eco-friendly packaging options, you can attract and retain environmentally conscious customers.
  3. Regulatory compliance: Many regions and countries are implementing stricter regulations on packaging waste and encouraging sustainable practices. By proactively adopting recyclable packaging, you can stay ahead of regulatory changes and avoid potential fines or penalties.
  4. Competitive advantage: Embracing sustainable packaging can differentiate your brand from competitors, showcasing your commitment to environmental stewardship. It positions your business as forward-thinking and can give you a competitive edge in the market.
  5. Long-term cost savings: While there may be some initial costs associated with switching to recyclable packaging, long-term savings can be achieved through reduced waste management expenses, improved operational efficiencies, and enhanced customer loyalty.

By making the switch to sustainable packaging, you contribute to a greener future, align with consumer preferences, comply with regulations, gain a competitive advantage, and potentially save costs in the long run.

In conclusion, transitioning to recyclable packaging is a significant step towards building a sustainable future. By following the steps outlined, collaborating with suppliers, educating your team, and communicating with customers, you can successfully make the switch. Remember to research and explore recyclable packaging options such as SKYMONO, SKYPAPR, SKYMAX and SKYLENE. ensuring both environmental responsibility and the functionality needed for your products. The initial investment in sustainable packaging is an investment in the planet and your brand’s reputation, paving the way for a more eco-friendly and responsible business approach.

New changes in the tax rate and penalties for non-compliance take effect on April 1st, 2023, as the “soft landing” period comes to an end.

The final meeting of the Industry Working Group for the Plastic Packaging Tax took place yesterday at the Treasury, where important changes to the tax were discussed and finalized. The tax rate has been increased from £200 to £210.82, in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate. These changes will come into effect on April 1st, 2023. This change comes as the “soft landing” period for the tax draws to a close in April, and non-compliant companies will now face fines.

The Plastic Packaging Tax, which was introduced as a measure to encourage the use of recycled materials in plastic packaging and reduce plastic waste, has now become more stringent. With the end of the “soft landing” period, businesses that fail to comply with the tax regulations will be subject to penalties.

Key changes to the tax regulations include:

  1. Tax rate increase: The tax rate has been increased to £210.82, in line with the CPI inflation rate, to ensure that the tax remains effective in encouraging the use of recycled materials and reducing plastic waste.
  2. End of the “soft landing” period: The one-year grace period for companies to adjust to the new tax rules is ending in April. Starting from April 1st, 2023, non-compliant companies will face fines for failing to meet the tax requirements.
  3. Late return submission penalties: Companies that submit their tax returns late will now be fined. Late payment rules have been modified to bring the Plastic Packaging Tax in line with other taxes.
  4. Interest charges for late payments: Companies that submit their tax payments late will be charged interest on the outstanding amount.
  5. Penalties for non-submission: Companies that fail to submit a return will not only be fined but will also have their tax obligations estimated by the authorities.

As the Plastic Packaging Tax becomes more stringent, it is crucial for businesses to be aware of these changes and ensure their compliance. Companies are urged to review their current practices, make necessary adjustments, and submit their returns and payments on time to avoid fines and penalties. The increased tax rate and the introduction of stricter enforcement measures signal the government’s commitment to reducing plastic waste and promoting a more sustainable future.

In light of these changes, Skymark remains committed to innovation and development in relation to recycled content across our product ranges. Our continuous efforts in sustainability and eco-friendly packaging solutions will help our customers adapt to the new tax regulations while contributing positively to the environment.

Plastic waste has become a significant environmental concern, prompting the implementation of various plastic packaging taxes across Europe. These taxes aim to reduce plastic waste, promote recycling, and support a circular economy. This comprehensive article provides a detailed overview of plastic packaging tax regulations in the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Hungary, as well as the impact of these taxes on businesses, consumers, and the global context.

United Kingdom:

The UK government has introduced a £200/metric ton (mT) Plastic Packaging Tax on materials containing less than 30% recycled content. This tax aims to encourage the use of more recycled materials in packaging production. Exemptions from this tax include human medicines packaging and non-packaging films.


Spain imposes a plastic tax on all items, including import transit packaging, at a rate of €450/mT on non-reusable plastic packaging. However, certain exemptions apply, such as medical packaging, intra-Community items (e.g., silage film, paints, inks, and lacquers intended to be incorporated into the product), and 100% recycled plastic packaging. To qualify for these exemptions, the packaging must comply with UNE-EN 15343:2008, and recycled content material should be certified by, for example, RecyClass. Declarations on total packaging weights are required on shipping and invoice documentation.


Italy’s plastic tax is charged at €450/mT of virgin plastic on MACSI (Single use) plastics, which primarily include single-use food packaging items and items not designed for more than one cycle of use. This tax also applies to packaging items containing partly recycled content materials. If the total tax value of the items is less than €25, no tax is incurred.


Portugal imposes a packaging tax at a rate of €300/mT on single-use packaging, which primarily includes single-use food and beverage packaging items made of plastic or aluminum. This also covers “service” packaging designed to be filled at the point of sale.


Hungary has implemented an Environmental Product Fee, with varying rates depending on the product and its composition. For plastics, the fees are primarily based on packaging and carrier bags. The rates are as follows:

Plastic Packaging – £130/mT

Plastic Carrier Bags* – £4,200/mT

Plastic flowers, etc. – £4,200/mT

When the product fee is less than £221/mT, no tax is payable. Bags declared as non-packaging, raw materials, and items reused in their original form are also exempt from this fee.

The introduction of plastic packaging taxes across Europe has significant implications for businesses and consumers. Businesses may experience increased costs in packaging materials, which may be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices. However, these taxes also incentivize businesses to adopt more sustainable packaging solutions and encourage innovation in the development of eco-friendly alternatives.

In addition to plastic packaging taxes, many European countries have implemented Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes. These schemes require producers to take responsibility for the management and disposal of their products and packaging waste. EPR schemes complement plastic packaging taxes by encouraging businesses to design products that are more easily recyclable and reduce overall waste.

Addressing the issue of plastic waste requires collaboration between governments, businesses, and consumers. By working together, stakeholders can develop and implement more effective policies and practices to reduce plastic waste, foster innovation, and promote a circular economy. This collaboration may include public