Should tax on plastic waste keep the EU budget in order?

Posted on 9 Dec 2019

According to European Commission calculations, a tax of € 0.8 / kg of non-recycled plastic waste can generate € 6.6 billion annually for the European Union budget. Furthermore, all European member states agree to provide 25% of the budget for climate objectives.


The Brexit plans will have a huge financial impact on the European budget, as the UK's € 13 billion annual contribution will disappear. The Commission has a number of scenarios ready to close that gap. Finland will chair the European Union until the end of December, and in preparation for the October European Summit, Finland has sought support from other Member States to put all possible options on the table.

Climate proposals

The preferred scenario in most countries is the track of introducing a tax on non-recycled plastic waste. At € 0.8 / kilo, this would bring the European treasury a sloppy € 6.6 billion annually. However, some large Eastern European countries believe that this tax will hit the poorer European countries especially hard. But apparently all EU member states are unanimous in favor of a different climate proposal from the European Commission. Now 20% of the EU budget is spent on proposals to achieve the climate goals. It is proposed to increase this to 25% in a first phase; in a later phase up to 30%.

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