Updated: Jul 7, 2020
The postponement of the much-discussed Plastic Tax is part of the draft of the "Relaunch Decree" for Italy, to be approved by May.
There was much discussion at the end of last year about this measure. In the Relaunch Decree (former April Decree) which should be approved in the coming days by the Council of Ministers, there is talk of a postponement of two taxes highly criticized by professionals in the plastic and beverage sector: the Plastic Tax and the Sugar Tax. The new decree - if it is not subject to further changes - will definitively establish the starting date of these two taxes on 1 January 2021. Article 139 of the draft decree-law circulating these days on the net concerns the deferral of the effectiveness of the provisions on the tax on the consumption of single-use products and on the tax on the consumption of sweetened drinks. Specifically, the draft states:
"It is intended to postpone, on January 1, 2021, the effectiveness of the provisions establishing the tax on the consumption of single-use items (MACSI)" and again: "we will postpone to the same date the effective date of the rules that introduce and regulate the tax on the consumption of sweetened drinks."
The tax on plastic, as well as that on sugary drinks, should have started from this year. But what is it about? Introduced with the law of 27 December 2019 (which established the provisions for the formation of the Italian National budget for the year 2020), the Plastic Tax is aimed at safeguarding the environment. It is a rate of 0.45 euros per kilogram of plastic, equal to 450 euros per tonne. The goods affected by the tax are single-use items (MACSI) such as plates, cutlery, glasses, envelopes, bottles, Tetra Pak containers, films, etc. Some exceptions remain, such as products in compostable bioplastics or made from recycled materials, as well as medical devices and pharmaceutical or medicinal packaging. It is estimated that the cost for the National finances of a postponement to 2021 of this tax, in terms of lower revenue, is estimated at 140 million euros.
Among the companies in the sector, the alarm remains high, because the fear is to be decimated by this new tax, equal to 450 euros per ton, which will be added to the Conai environmental contribution paid by producers and importers. There are almost three thousand companies at risk, counting both processors and second-hand companies, with a turnover of close to 12 billion euros, which employ thousands of employees.