MBA Polymers Calls for UK VAT Exemptions

Plastics recycling firm says removal of tax will boost plastics recycling in the U.K.

February 18, 2013
Recycling Today Staff
Legislation & Regulations Plastics

Plastics recycling company MBA Polymers has called for the government of the United Kingdom to suspend the VAT (valued-added tax) on recycled plastics to help stimulate consumer demand and encourage investment in the plastics recycling industry.

The call for the exemption was made by Nigel Hunton, CEO of MBA Polymers, at an event called “The Future of Recycling – The Challenge of Plastics.” The event’s audience included U.K. politicians, environmental groups and major plastics users.

In his presentation, Hunton said, “Plastics recycling is a big opportunity [in the U.K.]. We currently lie behind leading European countries in terms of the recycling rates of post-consumer plastic waste; in 2011 the U.K. performance was just over 20 percent. Sweden, Norway, German and France were all above us.”

Continuing his presentation, Hunton commented “The U.K. can become a world leader in this sector, but we can only do that by changing some of our approach. Recycled plastics are a resource - not a waste product. There is the potential for major environmental and economic benefit such as attracting new jobs and investment to the U.K., reducing our dependence on foreign oil and providing a competitive advantage for the UK through ‘green marketing’ and innovative technology. We also support the EU Environment Commissioner in welcoming reductions on incineration - switching from burning for energy generation to ‘full recovery’ – maximising recycling potential.”

In a news release issued by MBA after the event, Hunton added the following points:

  • “Our view is that we only need to do a few things differently in the future. First, we need a level playing field. We need auditing of downstream overseas plastic waste processors, similar to domestic processors. We allow the export of plastics waste, but it needs better and more vigorous enforcement and checking.
  • “Second, we need something to incentivize the market with legislation designed to encourage post-consumer recycled plastics content in new products, such as exemption or a reduced rate of VAT.”