What does producer responsibility for packaging mean?
Statutory producer responsibility for packaging applies to companies that pack products or have their products packed in Finland or that import packed products for the Finnish market and have a turnover of at least one million euros.
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?
The producer responsibility lies mainly with Finnish companies. The Pirkanmaan ELY Centre took the position that as of May 2015, a producer is deemed to be a company that meets the following conditions:
- The company has a Finnish business ID and at least one location on the mainland of Finland
- The company has a turnover of EUR 1 million or more.
- The company packs products in Finland or is an importer of packed products for the Finnish market.
A foreign company or its affiliate that is registered at the Finnish Trade Register is under producer responsibility obligations if all the conditions mentioned above are fulfilled.
PLEASE NOTE: A Finnish company is also under producer responsibility obligations in terms of packaging of products that it purchases from a foreign company, where that foreign company does not fulfil all the conditions mentioned above.
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