The Government recently presented the future Law on Waste and Contaminated Soilss, which includes the introduction of two new taxes. The first of them is aimed at non-reusable plastic containers, at a rate of 0.45 euros per kilo, and the second at landfill, which will range between 1.5 and 40 euros for each metric ton. Single-use plastics affected include beverage cups and food containers, whose commercialization has to be reduced by 50% between 2022 and 2026 and by 70% by 2030.
The central government aims to reduce the commercialization of single-use containers by 70% by 2030
And how has this fiscal measure set the sector? Well, in view of the reactions, in a very negative way. In the province there are around 350 companies dedicated to the transformation of plastic, most of them in the Foia de Castalla area. The president of the region’s business association, Héctor Torrente, points out, from the outset, that «profit margins are not wide enough for companies to bear these taxes, so they will have no choice but to pass it on to prices. So in the end, as always, the consumer will end up paying for it».
Torrente also regrets that this measure comes at a time when the industry is betting more and more on the recycling. “The sector,” he assures, “is aware and is advancing unstoppably towards the circular economy, so these taxes will do nothing but damage its image just when it makes less sense.” The business manager, however, trusts that the collection “will be used to educate the consumer, because the problem is not in the industry, but in the use made of the articles and where they are deposited. Plastics, in fact, can be recycled indefinitely. ‘
Toymakers criticize that each EU country is developing different regulations on this matter
For his part, Joan Oriola, head of the Envaplast company, from Benimarfull, explains that the measure has filled them with uncertainty, taking into account that they are dedicated to the manufacture of containers for dangerous goods. “We do not know – he regrets – if it will affect us directly, because our packaging is ready to be reused, but it does not come from recycled plastics, because technically it is impossible.” He acknowledges that “plastics appear in the sea and in other inappropriate places, but it is not our fault. In fact, plastic is the most versatile there is, because it can be reused endlessly.
Taxes do not affect the toy sector directly on their products, although they do on packaging. Cristina Miró, technical secretary of the national employers’ association, points out that “what worries us most is that each country of the European Union is developing different regulations on the matter, which complicates manufacturing and control, and increases the costs for which comply ».
The national employer assures that the measure is discriminatory
Manufacturers say a shift to heavier, less efficient materials is being forced
The Spanish Association of Industrial Plastics (Anaip) has described the new Law on Waste and Contaminated Soils as discriminatory and not very beneficial for the environment, understanding that it will cause a change towards packaging and products made of other less efficient and heavier materials.
The entity, led by Luis Cediel, highlights that this legislative initiative includes “discriminatory and disproportionate measures that go against the general objective of the norm.” Specifically, it highlights that “it does not prevent the generation of waste and can hinder the implementation of the circular economy in the sector, which is focused on manufacturing more recyclable items, incorporating more and more reused material into its products and innovating in modern recycling processes ”. Similarly, it regrets that the tax on non-reusable packaging is only fixed on plastic containers, “and not made of other materials, which are also likely to destroy the environment.”
What Anaip does consider positive is the tax to eradicate the deposit in the landfill of those waste that have not gone through a final recycling process. “This – they point out from the entity – is what should be penalized, instead of the use of a specific material for non-reusable packaging, since it is what slows down the circular economy and represents a waste of plastics or other materials that could return to the production cycle ”.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.