Petrotahlil - The EU could introduce a levy on plastic waste from next year, although this will be dependent on achieving swift political agreement.
The plan, which calls for a €0.80/kg levy or tax on non-recycled plastic packaging waste from 1 January 2021, is part of a broader agreement on a €1 trillion 2021-27 budget and on a €750bn Covid-19 recovery plan.
Political agreement and formal approval would have to be completed quickly to meet the proposed timetable. It will need to be worked out by a specific law that has to be approved in detail by the European Parliament and by the EU's council of ministers. Additionally, the commission said that this new source of income may require unanimous approval by the EU's council of ministers and according to member states' constitutional requirements.
The text agreed today by EU leaders does not specify whether the income from waste plastic packaging is a new tax, which would have to be approved unanimously by member states. The commission said in May that the €0.80/kg levy is not a tax,"but "a contribution to the EU budget designed to incentivise member states to increase recycling from plastic waste".
The commission also indicated that states are under no circumstances obliged to introduce the measure and could opt for other measures to make their required contribution to the EU budget.
Revenue from the levy is one of the income streams the EU will use to help repay loans it will take to cover the €750bn Covid-19 recovery plan. Early documents related to that plan had suggested that the commission was considering financial support for the plastics recycling sector. But EU leaders have sought to decide more closely which sectors receive aid under the recovery package.
The commission first proposed, in May 2018, the idea of raising €4bn-8bn annually from an €0.80/kg levy on non-recycled plastic packaging waste, to finance some 4pc of the EU budget according to then prices.