Taxes on single-use plastic packaging


    What is the single-use plastic tax?

    Single-use plastic packaging will be taxed 0.45 € for every kilogram of non-recycled plastic used. This has been imposed in Law 7/2022 on Waste and Contaminated Land for a Circular Economy (published in BOE no 85 of 09/04/2022).

    What products fall under the single-use plastic tax?

    Single-use plastic tax products include:

    • Non-reusable packaging containing plastic.
    • Semi-finished plastic products for packaging manufacturing, such as preformed thermoplastic sheets.
    • Products to seal, market or present single-use plastic packaging.

    Who does this apply to and what products are except

    Applied throughout the Spanish territory, this tax affects manufacturers, importers and intra-community product consumers that form part of the tax target scope.

    Non-reusable packaging containing plastic, semi-finished plastic products and sealing products intended for medicine, medical devices, medicinal food, infant formulas used in hospitals or medical hazardous waste are exempt.

    How to avoid or reduce single-use plastic taxes

    As we previously stated, the tax base for the single-use plastic tax applies to the products we specify in the previous section. This means that every kilogram of non-recycled plastic will be taxed a total of 0.45 €.

    Up until 2023, manufacturers, importers and EU community customers within the tax target scope had the opportunity to indicate the amount of recycled plastic contained in their products. This was optional and done through an official declaration signed by the manufacturer or through third-party certification.

    But starting from January 1, 2024, indicating the amount of recycled plastic in packaging has become a mandatory requisite that could only be done through an accredited third party under the UNE-EN 15343:2008 standard "Plastics. Recycled plastics. Traceability and conformity assessment of plastic recycling and recycled content".

    Companies can avoid or reduce single-use plastic tax if they:  

    • Certify the amount of recycled plastic in the products, by an entity accredited under the UNE-EN 15343:2008 standard "Plastics. Recycled plastics. Traceability and conformity assessment of plastic recycling and recycled content". Ensuring the % of recycled material incorporated into the products.
    • Demonstrate that their plastic can be reused. This can be corroborated through third-party certification issued under the UNE-EN 13429:2005 standard "Containers and packaging. Reusability", identified in Royal Decree 1055-2022 on packaging and packaging waste. The following is in charge of demonstrating that packaging is reusable if it is conceived, designed and marketed for multiple circuits or rotations throughout its life, to be used for the same purpose for which it was designed.

    Certification bodies

    An official certification body must first be accredited by the Spanish Accreditation Body (ENAC) or by an EU national accreditation body, designated by the provisions of Regulation (EC) No. 765/2008 of the European Parliament and the Council. Products manufactured outside the European Union can obtain validation from any other accreditation body that counts with international recognition from ENAC.

    Our Applus+ Laboratories experts offer testing and certification services to companies.

    Our scope is as follows:

    • SPC 135 and 136. Percentage of recycled plastic and traceability according to EN 15343 standards
    • Retray - PET. Recycled food packaging, according to EN 15343 standards.
    • SPC 139. Plastic bags with high recycled content, according to EN 53930 standards.
    • SPC 141. Reuse of containers and packaging, according to EN 13429 standards.

    Thanks to this new initiative, we play a vital contribution to preventing and reducing the impact of certain plastic products on human health and the environment. Contact us, we’re excited to accompany you on your journey to building a more sustainable future for plastic packaging.

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