What producer responsibility?

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. An exception to this is so called service and grower packaging where producer responsibility belongs to the manufacturer or importer of service and grower packaging. A company is also responsible for its packaging if the packing or logistics has been outsourced to another company.

A company with producer responsibility for packaging is responsible for the entire process of collection and recycling of their packaging waste as well as all related costs. The Packaging Waste Decree stipulates that producers must meet the material-based recycling objectives and requirements for packaging waste in Finland.

It is easiest for a company to handle producer responsibility by joining a producer organisation, in which case the producer responsibility is transferred to the producer organisation.

In addition to packaging, the Waste Act stipulates producer responsibility for tyres of motor vehicles, cars, electrical and electronic equipment, batteries and accumulators as well as paper products.

Join a producer organisation!

What does producer responsibility mean?

What kind of companies must meet producer responsibility obligations for packaging?

Packaging producer responsibility concerns all professionally operating companies that place packaging on the Finnish market (packed products or service or grower packaging).

Packaging producer responsibility concerns Finnish companies*, that


  1. pack or subcontract packing of products to the Finnish market (excl. service- and grower packaging)
  2.  import packed products
  3.  manufacture or import service or grower packaging to the Finnish market

The party with producer responsibility for service- and grower packaging, i.e. the “producer” is the Finnish manufacturer or importer of the packaging.


Service packaging: packaging that is used to pack food and other products for consumers directly at the point of sale.

Grower packaging: packaging that is used to pack unprocessed agricultural and horticultural products to be sold directly from the holding.


Packaging producer responsibility concerns also foreign companies that,

  •  sell packed products directly to users in Finland via distance sales.


*A Finnish company means a company with a Finnish business ID and is domiciled in Finland OR a Finnish branch of a foreign company, that is registered in the Trade Register maintained by the National Board of Patents and Registration and has a permanent establishment in Finland.

How to handle producer responsibility

Companies handle their producer responsibility obligations for packaging by signing a contract with a producer organisation. The contract is registered by Rinki.


There are two packaging sector producer organisations in Finland: Finnish Packaging Producers Ltd and Sumi Oy. Both are responsible for the collection and recycling of carton and paper, glass, metal, plastic and wooden packaging in Finland.


Companies registered at Rinki contribute to shared costs of packaging recycling by being part of the producers’ shared system.


The contract with a PRO covers the producer responsibility obligations for the packaging put on the Finnish market. A company is required to organise the transport of waste from its property. This can be arranged with a waste transport company and these costs are not included in the recycling fees invoiced by Rinki.

The implementation of producer responsibility is supervised

Pirkanmaa ELY Centre is the authority that supervises the implementation of packaging producer responsibility in Finland. Pirkanmaa ELY Centre supervises in cooperation with other authorities such as the Tax Administration, Customs and the Finnish Environmental institute.


Rinki submits the packaging statistics that it collects from companies to Pirkanmaa ELY Centre every year. The statistics are drawn up from the data reported by Rinki member companies. The statistics only show the total packaging material volumes. Pirkanmaa ELY Centre reports to the European Commission annually the accumulated packaging waste volumes as well as information about recycling and reuse.


Neglecting producer responsibility can lead to a significant fine


If a company with producer responsibility has not fulfilled its producer responsibility obligations, the Pirkanmaa ELY Centre may impose a negligence fine that corresponds to 1% of the company’s turnover in the previous year. The fine is at least EUR500 and at most EUR500 000.Before the fine is imposed the company receives a written request to take care of its obligations.


Also a fine for failure to report monitoring data of at least EUR 500 and at most EUR 10,000 may also be imposed. Before the fine is imposed, the negligent party is requested, in writing, to rectify its negligence.

Producer organisations are responsible for recycling packaging waste

Packaging industry producer organisations are legally competent not-for-profit organisations. They are responsible for ensuring that the targets set by EU and Finnish legislation for recycling of packaging are met in Finland, and that the receipt of packaging at terminals and related communications are carried out in accordance with the legislation.


There are two packaging sector producer organisations in Finland: Finnish Packaging Producers Ltd and Sumi Oy. Both are responsible for the collection and recycling of carton and paper, glass, metal, plastic and wooden packaging in Finland.


Producer organisations agree on material-specific recycling fees, which Rinki invoices from companies and deposits with the producer organisations.


The aim is that recycling of packaging is arranged cost-effectively so that the fees paid by companies remain reasonable.

Companies must arrange for waste disposal from their properties

The company is responsible for sorting the packaging waste remaining on its premises and arranging its transportation from the premises. Waste transportation can be agreed upon with a waste transport company. The price for transportation is a separate cost to the company and not included in the fees that Rinki charges.


The recycling fees charged by Rinki cover the recycling of packaging placed on the Finnish market by a company and the collecting of consumer packaging in Finland. The collection of packaging waste from the company’s premises is not included in these fees.


The recycling fee charged by Rinki is used to fund the network of terminals for receiving packaging waste, where material is received free of charge, as well as for the transportation of materials from the terminals to the waste treatment plant and recycling them or turning them into raw material for new products.

Read more about producer responsibility

Rinki online magazine is the number one media for producer responsibility. Read it here.