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BHETA lobbying delivers Plastic Tax win for members

Following BHETA’s approach to Government outlining its objections to the draft Plastic Packaging tax legislation, BHETA has received confirmation from HMRC that it has made a U-turn on the latest draft secondary legislation. HMRC’s original position was to extend the legislation’s scope to include multi-use consumer goods such as storage boxes and packed lunch boxes as well as packaging. This will not now be the case.

HMRC’s project leader, Mark Palmer has messaged BHETA thanking it for its input and clarifying the following: “HMRC has now published draft secondary legislation clarifying the scope of the tax. Storage boxes for homes use and reusable food and drinks containers do not need to be included in these regulations. The draft legislation clarifies that a further number of products are outside of the scope, and examples of these include items sold for long term storage of goods throughout their lifetime, such as toolboxes, items where the packaging is integral to the use of the goods, such as water filter cartridges, and items for reuse in the presentation of goods, such as shop fittings.”

Prior to BHETA’s intervention, the previous draft of the legislation could have precipitated costs of an estimated additional £10million per year in tax across the supplier base. Commenting on the breakthrough, BHETA’s marketing manager, Steve Richardson who co-ordinated the lobbying initiative said, “The amended legislation follows the principle BHETA championed that ‘single use plastics’ are a much bigger problem than ‘multi-use’ products.

“Any plastic single use items for home use will be liable to the plastic packaging tax. The draft legislation also sets out that single use plastic items for home use, such as carrier bags and plastic cups, are within the scope of the tax.

“The change of plan regarding multi-use products is great news for many suppliers and BHETA thanks everyone who has supported the campaign to date. I’d like to thank members of the BHETA Steering Group who collectively influenced more than thirty cross party MPs, including a Cabinet Minister, to support the campaign; members who suggested upgraded technical specification tests on qualifying product; and specifically, Tony Grimshaw of Whatmore and Nicola Davies at Sistema Plastics who supported BHETA in its meeting with HMRC. BHETA is also very grateful to Paul van Danzig from BHETA Service Provider, Wastepack for technical advice”.

Chief Operating Officer of BHETA Will Jones added, “When this draft legislation was originally made public for consultation, it was made clear that the tax framework that was conceived, and previously presented, as a measure ‘to encourage the use of recycled plastic … within packaging.’ This is entirely laudable but the proposed addition of consumer products into the scope of the proposed laws was unreasonable and counterproductive.

“Given the HMRC turn around, I am not only delighted with the outcome for all members affected, but I’m also thrilled to see what BHETA can achieve for members, by organising a collaborative, well thought through approach to Government.”

Whatmore UK Company Director Tony Grimshaw OBE, commented: “I’m very grateful for the exemplary work from our trade association BHETA and to my five local MPs. They worked hard to ensure HMRC appreciate that our industry is part of the solution, and not the cause”.

BHETA recommends that all members who manufacture plastic products make themselves aware of the legislation and respond in support of the revisions.

BHETA will write to support the draft legislation and the positive changes made by HMRC in the latest guidelines. Our key message will be: we strongly believe that multiple use plastic products act to reduce the number of single use products that are used and discarded. Therefore we support the exclusion of storage boxes for home use, reusable food and drinks containers, toolboxes and water filter cartridges.


The BHETA members represented in the Steering Group included:

  • Addis Housewares
  • Brita
  • DNC
  • EKO Utility
  • JML
  • Lifetime Brands
  • Meyer
  • Kitchencraft
  • Simplehuman
  • Sistema 
  • Strata Products
  • Taylors Eye Witness
  • Thermos
  • Wastepack
  • What More UK
  • Whitefurze

BHETA regularly lobbies on subjects affecting housewares, small electricals, DIY and garden members. It also provides member training and retail networking events, up to the minute data on market opportunities compliance advice. To find out more, contact the BHETA Member Services Team on 0121 237 1130 or alternatively, email Zara Miah at

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