Fast fashion etailer Boohoo will pass charges from HMRC onto its suppliers for some polybags that it does not have the recycled content certification for.
In a letter to its suppliers, seen by Drapers, Boohoo Group said charges will be passed on to its suppliers if they do not provide either Global Recycled Standard (GRS) or Standard Global Services (SGS) certification and confirmation that the bags had over 50% recycled content as a minimum.
It follows the introduction, on 01 April, of the Plastic Packaging Tax – which sees any plastics manufactured in or imported into the UK subject to the tax, unless evidence is provided to show that the plastics contain at least 30% certified recycled material.
A Boohoo Group spokeswoman told Drapers: “In preparation for the new policy our labelling and packaging team sourced a nominated global supplier who produces 100% certified recycled material and recyclable packaging, which complies with both our ambition and the new guidance.
“We communicated all of this to our suppliers but provided them with an option of continuing to use their own suppliers, as long as they could certify that the polybags they use were at least 50% recycled material, made from LDPE (low density polyethylene) only and a number of other standards.”
She said of future strategy: “To support them in managing this change we have covered the cost of any HMRC charge so far, but to ensure that our suppliers are complying with our UpFront goal: By 2023 all customer garment packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable and any plastic used will contain over 50% recycled content, we have been clear that this will become the responsibility of suppliers in the near future.”
Boohoo is one of the retailers currently being investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over sustainability claims. The CMA is looking into green claims from Asos, Boohoo and George at Asda initially, but has warned that it is looking more widely at the fashion sector – and others may also come under the microscope.