Research carried out by YouGov for the company found that 77% of British retail and manufacturing businesses were still unaware of the tax.
It also found that just 22% of businesses had already opted for recycled content in their packaging, while a percentage of recycled content threshold (63%) and cost charge (50%) were cited as incentives to use recycled content.
Veolia Northern Europe Zone senior executive vice president Gavin Graveson, said the UK’s Plastic Packaging Tax was the right way to start getting businesses to push sustainability up the agenda, but it needed to go further.
“A tax escalator would make choosing to incorporate recycled content in packaging both economically and environmentally preferable to using virgin materials,” he added.
“Not only could the UK save up to 2.89m tonnes of carbon emissions every year if all plastic packaging included 30% recycled content, it would also incentivise investment in domestic infrastructure which could make the UK a world leader in plastics recycling.”
Of the UK business that have made changes to their plastic packaging, 66% reported they had reduced the amount of unnecessary or avoidable plastic packaging, while 58% said they now use recycled content.
A further 54% said they had changed their packaging design to make it more recyclable, while 39% said they had chosen alternative materials to plastic for their packaging.
The Plastics Packaging Tax is set to take effect from today, 1 April, requiring producers to pay £200/tonne of plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled materials.
Meanwhile, the Government has confirmed it will delay the roll-out of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme, which will require producers to bear the full cost of post-consumer packaging waste disposal, until 2024.