The law stipulates producer responsibility
In Finland, producer packaging responsibility applies to companies that have a turnover of EUR 1 million or more in Finland or imports packaged products to the Finnish market. The responsibility concerns all packaging and packaging waste that results from their use. The Council of State Packaging and Packaging Waste Decree is based on the European Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive and the Finnish Waste Act.
The legislation aims to:
- reduce the amount of packaging waste
- increase the reuse of packaging in new products
- prevent environmental damages and remove barriers to trade
- prevent distortion and restrictions of competition by an equal treatment of packaging materials
Producer responsibility regulations
Producers must organise the collection and recycling of packaging plus other waste management according to the regulations sipulated in the European Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive and the Finnish Waste Act.
- The European Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive is implemented in Finland through the Waste Act (1072/1993), the Council of State Decision on Packaging and Packaging Waste 962/1997 and the Council of State Packaging and Packaging Waste Decrees 987/2004 and 817/2005.
- The amendment 452/2004 of the Waste Act added Section 3a, upon which the packaging producer responsibility has been based since 1 September 2004. The obligations concerning reuse and recycling have been based on the Council of State Decision 962/1997 and Decree 817/2005 mentioned above.
- J The new Waste Act (646/2011) entered into force on 1 May 2012. This law was amended in January 2014, when a transition period was granted for the effective date of the extended producer responsibility; it came into force on 1 May 2015.
- The Council of State accepted the Packaging and Packaging Waste Decree 518/2014 on 3 July 2014, which defines the reuse targets for packaging and recycling targets for packaging waste; it also defines collection targets for consumer packaging in more detail.
Collection of consumer packaging is part of producer responsibility
During 2015 and 2016, producers will become responsible for the entire process of collection and recycling of consumer packaging. The producers are liable for all collection and recycling costs and also for ensuring that the stricter recycling requirements for packaging waste as set in the Finnish law are met.
The extended producer responsibility cencerning packaging came into force on 1 May 2015. The reception terminals opened on the same day. The terminals are maintained and paid for by the producers, and they are located all over the country. The terminals take back glass, fibre, metal and plastic packaging waste collected by municipalities and waste haulage companies for free. The terminals only receive packaging waste material which has been sorted according to the producer organisations’ instructions.
Since 1 January 2016, producers have also been responsible for the collection of consumer packaging in Finland. The Rinki eco take-back point network will have a minimum of 1,850 take-back points for fibre, metal and glass packaging waste and 500 points for plastic packaging. Most of the take-back points will be located near shops with good transport connections.
Municipalities can offer a supplement for the producers’ consumer packaging collection by setting up their own take-back points or by collections from residential premises. Private waste haulage companies can also offer their services to producers and residential properties if the municipality does not arrange the collection.
Producer responsibility legislation – then and now
The producer responsibility scheme for packaging was introduced into Finnish legislation in 1997. The Government Decree on packaging and packaging waste is based on the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive and the Finnish Waste Act.
Waste Act 127 and §152 (amendment) (in Finnish)
The Council of State decisions and decrees
The Council of State decree 518/2014 (in Finnish)
The Council of State decree 817/2005 (in Finnish)
The Council of State decree 987/2004 (in Finnish)
Council of State decision on packaging and packaging waste 962/1997
Read more about the amendments to the acts related to producer responsibility legislation here.
Finland failed to introduce the requirements of the amended Waste Directive and Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive into Finnish legislation by the deadline, which was 5 July 2020. The Government proposal to amend the Waste Act is expected to be submitted to Parliament in spring 2021. The new requirements of the directives could be brought into Finnish legislation in the summer of 2021, i.e. one year late.
The legislative amendments required by the SUP (Single-Use Plastics) Directive were also under preparation in 2020. The SUP directive extends producer responsibility to cover certain packaging in terms of preventing and cleaning up litter. The SUP Directive requirements must be transposed into national law by 3 July 2021.
New waste legislation is being drafted. The revised waste directive as well as the packaging and packaging waste directive must be brought into Finnish legislation by 5 July 2020.
EU Directive 2018/852 amending Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste. The recycling targets for packaging waste have increased, and the method for calculating the volume of recycled materials has changed.
In accordance with the Packaging and Packaging Waste Decree the producer take-back network for consumer packaging is in operation as at 1.1.2016 with a minimum of 1850 take-back points for fibre, metal and glass packaging waste and a minimum of 500 for plastic packaging waste.
EPR Provisions in the Waste Act come into force for packaging on 1.5.2015. Producer reception terminals for packaging waste, Numbering 30, are in operation as of 1.5.2015 for materials collected by municipalities and companies.
The Environmental Register of Packaging PYR Ltd was renamed as Finnish Packaging Recycling RINKI Ltd.
Amendment to the Waste Act 646/2011 comes into force on 27.1.2014. An extension of the transition period for the entry into force of producer responsibility is obtained.
The Council of State Decree on Packaging and Packaging Waste 518/2014 comes into force on 10.7.2014. More precise regulations are set in the decree concerning:
- the take-back network for consumer packaging under producer responsibility
- harsher targets for the reuse and recycling of packaging (2016 and 2020) and the introduction of separate targets for deposit and non-deposit packaging respectively.
The Waste Act Chapter on producer responsibility comes into force on 1.5.2013 with EPR not yet applicable to packaging. The proposed amendment to the Waste Act concerning packaging and the new packaging and packaging waste decree are at the consultation stage. PYR and the producer organisations are involved in influencing several working groups.
Proposals for the Waste Act and the associated decree include:
- extending the transition period for the entry into force of EPR
- harshening of the recycling targets for packaging and the number of take-back points under producer responsibility for consumer packaging in Finland.
The Waste Act 646/2011 comes into force on 1.5.2012. Drafting of the packaging decree continues.
The position of the business sector in favour of the retention of partial producer responsibility is presented to parliamentary committees. The President approves the Waste Act, including the provisions on extended producer responsibility for packaging. Preparation of the decrees associated to the Waste Act begins.
The government bill (HE 199/2010) is presented to Parliament. PYR and the producer organisations in the packaging sector participate in influential working groups.
The Ministry of the Environment begins revision of the Waste Act in Finland based on the EU Waste Framework Directive. PYR participates in the consultations.
The Council of State Decree 817/2005 amends the Council of State Decision on Packaging and Packaging Waste 962/1997. Recycling and recovery targets are set for packaging materials for 2008.
The Directive 2004/12/EC amends the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive 94/62/EC. Revision of the Waste Framework Directive begins in the EU.
Waste Act Amendment 452/2004. Pirkanmaa ELY Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (Pirkanmaa ELY) becomes the official monitor of producer responsibility.
The Council of State Decision on Packaging and Packaging Waste 962/1997 comes into force.
The Environmental Register of Packaging PYR Ltd is established.
Partial producer responsibility for packaging: 61% by weight of total packaging waste must be recovered. The Finnish Environment Institute is the official monitor of producer responsibility.
An Agreement between the business sector and the Ministry of the Environment: the packaging sector is responsible for the recovery of packaging waste in Finland in accordance with the requirements of the directive.
Finland joins the EU.
The Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive 94/62/EC comes into force in EU States.
The Waste Act 1072/1993 comes into force.