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Report for Spain

Since January, two new regulations in Spain have been directly affecting the plastics market. One surrounds a new tax on: non-reusable plastic packages; semi-finished plastic products intended for obtaining containers such as preforms or thermoplastic sheets; and plastic products intended to allow for the closing, marketing or presentation of containers. The aim of the tax is to incentivize the use of recycled plastic.

The other regulatory development involves a change to the application of Value-Added Tax (VAT). Thanks to the efforts of Spain’s Federación Española del Reciclaje (FER) and its discussions with the General Directorate of Taxes at the Ministry of Finance and Civil Service, deliveries of waste, scrap or plastic scrap will not be invoiced with VAT.

Both measures have been created to help the circularity of the plastics market. However, current energy costs are creating problems for recyclers as their elevated production costs are making recycled plastic prices high compared to virgin plastic. The measures taken by the packaging industry are fine; however, the packaging industry alone cannot achieve the EU-set goal of 10 million tonnes of recycled plastic by 2025. We must do something more.