Plastic packaging sorting instructions for households

muovipakkausten lajittelu


Empty and dry plastic household packaging

  • Empty, clean and dry plastic packaging from households
  • Plastic food packaging (e.g. yoghurt cups, butter tubs, cheese packaging and ready-meal trays)
  • Detergent, shampoo, and soap packaging
  • Other household packaging (e.g. plastic bottles, cans, jars, tubes, packaging for toys, tools, garden, and fishing gear etc.)
  • Plastic bags and wrappers
  • EPS or Styrofoam packaging


  • Mixed waste, construction waste or very dirty plastic packaging
  • Any material other than plastic packaging (no cardboard, glass, metal, wood)
  • Other plastic products or plastic packaging used in companies
  • Packages that contain traces of dangerous substances (e.g. lighter fluids, oils, fuels, paints, chemicals, medicines)

Any packaging that contains residues of dangerous substances and pressurised packaging (e.g. paint, chemicals, oils, medicines, hairspray) must be taken to your local hazardous waste collection point.

Do I need to remove caps and lids?

Yes, whenever this is possible. You should remove caps, lids, dispenser pumps and similar loose parts (e.g. films on cheese packaging) and place these into the collection container separately.

An optical reader identifies the different types of plastic in the recycling process, which are then separated. For example, if a tray and the film on it are made of different types of plastic and are still joined together, the reader will only recognise one type. Some packaging material is thus placed in the wrong group, which can significantly hamper the recycling process.

Other detachable parts, such as the pumps found in detergent bottles, should be separated before recycling.

How to sort plastic packaging at home and at Rinki eco take-back points (in Finnish)

The weather is always right for recycling your packaging

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What kind of plastic packaging is suitable for recycling?

All plastics for packaging are suitable for recycling. If it is plastic and a packaging, it belongs in the plastic packaging collection. Products made of plastic, such as children’s toys, are not to be included in the plastic packaging collection container.

Can I put plastic packaging inside each other?

Packaging made of different types of plastic must not be put inside each other. The optical scanner at the recycling facility only recognises the material of the outermost item. If there are different types of plastic nested inside, they will go into the wrong category in the sorting process.

If you are sure that all packaging are made of the same type of plastic, you can put them inside each other. You can also use a plastic bag for carrying plastic packaging, as bags are automatically opened at the start of the sorting process.

How carefully do I need to wash plastic packaging?

As a rule of thumb, packaging should be clean enough to be stored at home for a few days without a notable smell.

They must not contain any food or other residue. Drain the packaging to make sure it is dry. You could easily clean the packaging for example with a small piece of paper towel to get rid of the most noticeable residue.