Business and Law

Plastic tax

After many different reports on the subject of plastics tax, there exists now an official statement from the Austrian Finance Ministry. Below is an excerpt:


The so-called “EU plastic levy or plastic tax is not a levy or tax in the conventional sense. It is a new category of own resources based on the amount of non-recycled plastic packaging waste generated to finance the EU budget (“plastic own resources”).


The introduction of the new own resources category even reduces the EU contribution for Austria because Austria’s share of plastic own resources (2.4%) is lower than Austria’s share of the GNI own resources replaced by it (2.6%); a reduction of about 30 million euros annually.


The calculation of plastic own resources is based on the weight of unrecycled plastic packaging waste, not on the amount of plastic packaging put on the market. The introduction of plastic own resources thus provides an incentive for all member states to avoid plastic packaging waste and promote recycling, thus reducing the national contribution.


It is a pity that the EU, as it seems – does not want to use this revenue for specific purposes. Below are two examples of useful earmarked uses:


  • As part of the circular economy package, 50% of plastic packaging waste is to be recycled throughout the EU by 2025, and by 2030 the figure is to be 55 %. To achieve these targets, sorting and recycling capacities in Europe must be quadrupled. Especially for sorting, investments in sorting quality are necessary in addition to stock expansion, as the existing recycling quotas cannot be achieved by expanding separate collection alone.


  • In order to decisively reduce or banish plastic waste from the oceans, improved concepts and methods for waste collection and recycling in Third World countries are needed first and foremost. Companies from the EU member states can provide the appropriate technologies for this purpose.