The European plastics processors' trade association (EuPC) has warned that a tax on the plastics industry could accelerate Europe's economic decline, in response to the European commission's proposal to introduce national funding for non-circular plastic packaging across the eu based on the period 2021-2027.
EuPC claims that without consultation with key industry stakeholders, the proposal will result in adverse economic and environmental outcomes that will have a negative impact on the entire plastics industry in the eu, which comprises more than 50,000 small and medium enterprises and more than 1.6 million employees.
Under the proposal, eu member states would be able to incorporate their assessed contributions into a common budget, but each member state would be free to decide how and where it should receive its share.
That would create fragmentation in Europe, potentially disrupting the single market, and some countries could impose taxes on the production or consumption of plastic packaging without addressing key issues, EuPC said.
EuPC said: "this measure will not be related only to any expenditure or investment in existing national plastic waste management systems.
It would discriminate against plastics and disrupt free market choices."
"The commission is making a huge mistake," says Alexandre Dangis, managing director of EuPC.
Five years from now, we will be able to assess the damage of such short-sighted populist measures.
Small and medium-sized enterprises, the backbone of the European economy in particular, will be severely affected and this will mean the end of the single market."
"With a 7 billion euro ($6.2 billion) gap left by brexit, the plastic packaging industry alone cannot fund the eu budget as a whole.
Restructuring eu spending or increasing contributions to the eu budget through national GDP performance would be a better option."
"Over the next few years, eu institutions are forcing our companies in Europe to pay EPR fees and taxes and to recycle investments without having to worry about imports.
It is very sad and disturbing to see that the tools available to eu policymakers are not being used effectively and that these additional taxes will accelerate Europe's path towards recession."