Anything polythene or plastic we have made or imported that does not contain at least 30% post consumer recycled content, will be subject to a government tax of £200 per 1000 tonne. Post consumer content means the product has to have been made by someone, left their factory, been used for something and then returned to the factory as a recycled product or as a product suitable for recycling. Manufacturers who produce waste when making a product often use that waste to make more of the same product. This does not count as post consumer waste.

We expect the demand for recycled material to increase and when demand is higher than supply the price increases, so the initially the price of buying a product which contains 30% recycled content may get close to that of a product made from virgin material.
Some of our manufacturers are restricting the range they offer to only include some lines that will have 30% RCC as they don’t expect there will be enough recycled material to fulfil their whole product range.

Sealed Air worked in advance and started producing bubble with 30% recycled content in 2021. However, as they cannot specify the exact material they use to make up the 30% recycled part, – it could be bottles or bags of various colours, its not possible to make the Bubble clear so you end up with a grey colour.  At the moment the colour can vary form making to making and until the availability of recycled product increases we expect it to remain so. We can still supply the old “virgin” grade but the MOQ is 20 rolls of 1500mm and delivery time is approx 10 working days.  At the moment we do not plan on stocking both options as we need to test the market. Will people be happy to pay more to have clear bubble or prefer to pay less to have grey bubble? At the moment it appears the second option is favourite.

We are introducing a range of “clear” polythene bags which will avoid the tax, but production cost is higher as adding the recycled content adds another stage to the manufacturing process and we have found this with other products so at the end of the day the price for virgin material may not be much more expensive than the 30% Recycled option.