The Canarian consumer will suffer another punishment in his pocket with the new tax on plastic

On January 1, this tax comes into force in Spain, the only country in Europe that has decided to implement it. The extra cost on the islands will amount to 70 million. From 2023 it will be possible to take the tupperware from home to the supermarket to buy without packaging

Silvia Fernandez

On January 1, the new tax on non-reusable plastic will come into force, with which the entire value chain will have to comply and which will result in a
overrun for producers and distributors of between 70 and 75 million euros. Only the distribution sector, supermarkets must pay between 1.5 million and 2 million euros, as indicated
the general secretary of the Association of Supermarkets of the Canary Islands (Asuican), Alonso Fernández. At the national level, it is estimated that the collection of this tax, which affects all types of containers and packaging whether empty or containing or handling merchandise, will be around 1,800 million euros.

The new tax on plastic, of 0.45 euros per kilo of this single-use material,
threatens further product increases that must be assumed by the final consumer. "Any tax measure is transferred to the entire value chain, which is why there is talk that there will be an extra cost for everyone," says Fernández, when asked about the impact that this new rate will have on the
consumers.

All sectors call for a moratorium as Italy has done

All sectors have demanded that the Government of Spain
delay the implementation of this rate due to the current economic moment, with skyrocketing inflation and the general rise in costs. «You cannot continue adding costs. This is not the time, “says Fernández.

As indicated, Spain should follow the example of Italy, where the tax on plastic has been delayed for at least a year due to the economic situation.
No other country in the European Union is going to implement it. At the moment, only Spain, with serious damage to companies and consumers.

In this sense, at the national level, the organizations of the main consumer sectors, such as Anged (with its employers in the Asodiscan islands), Asaja, the agri-food cooperatives, the restaurant brands, the Acotex textile, and the FIAB Food, They have called on the Government to approve this moratorium for the tax that, in their opinion,
threatens the future of a large number of companies. "After Italy's recent decision to postpone the entry into force of this tax, Spain is left alone in the introduction of a tax that is not mandatory for member states and that means adding extra costs for companies in a particularly delicate context," they point out. .

Involved with the environment

The companies assure that they "are ahead" of the legislation in their
commitment to the environment and that most companies have already adopted redesign and weight reduction measures, among other things, to reduce the use of this material in their packaging. As he points out, companies have reduced the percentage of plastic used by 21.7% while 69% of what they use is reusable and 35% comes from recycled material.

In this sense, Fernández points out that Spain is precisely the only country that introduces this tax when it is
one of the European countries with the best ratios recycling, with 51.4%, ahead of nations such as Germany, France or Italy or the European average as a whole, with 37.7%.

legal uncertainty

The general secretary of Asuican also highlights the difficulties that exist to be able to comply with this tax since the Government has not yet published any order with the indications that develop it. «We are at December 9 (for Friday) and there is still no ministerial order that develops this tax, which generates
legal uncertainty», says Fernández, who assures that it is not yet known how to comply with it and with its presentation in the first quarter of the year. "There are many issues that are still unclear," says Fernández.

Asuican's general secretary considers that this tax will hamper the competitiveness of Spanish companies in their exports, since Spain is the only country that applies this tax. The rest of the sectors share this vision. "Although the commitment to sustainable development is fundamental and firm, taking the European lead and
n such a hostile context it can make us less competitive compared to other markets and boost the slowdown of our economy”, warn the organizations of the main consumer sectors.

To the supermarket with the taper from home

The general secretary of the Association of Supermarkets of the Canary Islands (Asuican), Alonso Fernández, indicates that as of January 1, not only will a new tax on plastic be introduced, but also new features regarding its use. Thus, one of the main ones is that consumers will be able to take their own tupperware to the supermarket so that they can put the products they used to buy in containers. "Commerce has a certain obligation to do so, although the issue of food safety also enters," says Fernández.

Among the novelties, there is also the fact that establishments of more than 400 square meters are obliged to market 20% of their food products without packaging. The new regulations point out, for example, that packaged fruit will not be sold unless they are more than a kilo and a half. "This is a problem because there will be a lot of product that can be damaged if it is not sold packaged," says Fernández, who gives strawberries as an example.

The sales ticket will also change as of January 1, since the value of the plastic it carries must be broken down under each product. "We have been working on this for some time, although it is complex from an IT point of view," says Fernández, who assures that the sectors will try to comply with what is established in the regulations, although "it has its difficulties." "We are going to comply with the law as we have always done, but we can make mistakes due to ignorance," he points out.

As he explains, the rule is in many respects "ambiguous" and gives rise to interpretations. "It's very complex and difficult to comply with," he adds. "The standard refers to glasses for beverages intended for immediate consumption or to take away, something that makes it difficult to know what exactly is meant," he concludes.