What does producer responsibility for packaging mean?
Producer responsibility is a legal obligation for businesses. It applies to companies that pack products in Finland or import packed products for the Finnish market or sell their products to Finland through distance sales and have a turnover of at least one million euros. A company is also responsible for its packaging if the packing or logistics has been outsourced to another company.
A company which must meet producer responsibility packaging obligations is responsible for the entire process of collection and recycling of their packaging waste as well as all related costs. The Waste Act and the Packaging Waste Decree stipulate that producers are responsible for meeting the national objectives and requirements for the recycling and reusing of packaging waste in Finland.
In addition to packaging, the Waste Act stipulates the producer responsibility for tyres of motor vehicles, cars, electrical and electronic equipment, batteries and accumulators as well as paper products.
What kind of companies must meet the producer responsibility for packaging obligations?
Producer responsibility for packaging concerns:
- A Finnish packer* or a foreign company’s Finnish branch*, which packs products for the Finnish market
- A Finnish importer* or a foreign company’s Finnish branch*, which operates as an importer of packed products to the Finnish market
- A foreign operator, established in another country than Finland and sells packed products directly to users in Finland through distance sales
the company has a total turnover of at least 1 M€.
*the company has a Finnish business ID and is domiciled in Finland
**the company has a permanent establishment in Finland and is registered as a branch in the Trade Register maintained by the National Board of Patents and Registration
The easiest way to handle producer responsibility
The easiest and most convenient way for companies to handle their obligations of producer responsibility for packaging is to sign a contract with producer organisations administered by Rinki.
It would be very expensive for an individual company to arrange the entire recycling process for its own packaging waste. Companies typically use several different types of packaging or packaging materials. A company rarely knows where its packaging eventually ends up on the market.
Rinki member companies contribute to shared costs of packaging recycling by being part of the producers’ shared system.
A contract with Rinki covers recycling of a packaging a company brings to the Finnish market as well as a collection of consumer packaging carried out in Finland. The company arranges the removal of sorted packaging waste from its own property. This can be arranged with a waste transport company, for example; the costs incurred are not included in the fees charged by Rinki. Read more: B2B packaging and waste management in properties