The Single-use plastic Directive i.e. SUPD means the Directive (EU)2019/904 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment.

The original purpose of the SUPD was to respond to the global plastic litter problem in the marine environment by targeting measures on certain plastic products, most found on beaches, but it has expanded to concern single-use products in general.

Which products belong to the scope of the SUPD?
  • certain single-use plastic products
  • all plastic products made from oxo-degradable plastic
  • all fishing gear containing plastic
What types of packaging are considered single-use plastic products that belong to the scope of the SUPD?

SUP packaging is certain single-use plastic containing ready-to-eat food packaging, certain beverage packaging and cups for beverages with their caps and lids as well as plastic bags offered to consumers at the point of sales.

What measures does the Directive require?

Depending on the product category the requirements include reduction of consumption, product bans, product marking requirements, requirements related to the properties of the products as well as the so-called extended producer responsibility and awareness raising measures.

What obligations does the SUPD create to companies with producer responsibility?

Some examples are the obligation to reduce the consumption of SUP cups for beverages and SUP food containers, product requirements for SUP beverage containers (incl. caps remaining attached to container), extended producer responsibility and separate collection of SUP beverage bottles.

In addition, companies with producer responsibility are required to pay an SUP fee which means that part of the municipalities’ cleaning costs of public areas is transferred to be paid by packaging producers. Companies with producer responsibility must also educate consumers on preventing littering.

The SUPD also increases reporting obligations when data on the volume of SUP products put on the market is needed for monitoring the SUP requirements.

Am I an SUP producer?

Certain plastic containing single-use packaging for ready-to-eat food, certain beverage containers and cups for beverages including caps and lids as well as plastic bags offered to consumers at the point of sale are SUP packaging.

 

In 2023 an SUP producer is a Finnish company that uses SUP packaging to pack their product or that imports a product packed in SUP packaging to Finland. An SUP producer is also a company established outside Finland that sells products packed in SUP packaging directly to end users in Finland via distance sales. These companies report the 2023 SUP packaging to Rinki by the end of February 2024.

 

The definition of a packaging producer changes 1.1.2024. The change affects so called service packaging i.e. packaging that is used for packing products directly to consumers at the point of sale. After the change in legislation the packaging producer of such packaging is the manufacturer of the packaging in Finland, the importer of the empty packaging or a foreign distance seller. SUP packaging considered as service packaging is for example take away packaging of ready-to-eat food, take away beverage cups that are filled at the point of sale as well as plastic bags provided in shops.

What is the basis for SUP fees?

SUP fees are used to compensate to the municipalities the cost of cleaning up SUP packaging. In addition, the fees include communication of litter prevention and administrative costs. Waste legislation stipulates that between 2023 and 2025 approximately 10,5 million euros must be compensated to the municipalities for the costs caused by SUP packaging. From 2026 onwards the fees will be based on the actual cleaning costs reported by the municipalities to the Pirkanmaa ELY-centre.

 

In 2024 the cost allocated to SUP packaging (10,5 M€) that is to be invoiced, is divided according to percentages determined in legislation to the five SUP packaging categories. The producer organisations determine the SUP fees per SUP packaging category in spring 2024, once the companies have reported the SUP packaging volumes to Rinki.

 

Rinki conducted a preliminary survey in spring 2023 for the producer organisations on the volumes of SUP packaging put on the market. The questionnaire was sent to 430 companies which were estimated to put SUP packaging on the market. The response rate was 45%. Based on the results, Rinki has estimated that the total of SUP packaging put on the market is around 46 500 tonnes. The final tonnage, on the basis of which the fees are determined, will become clear next spring based on the actual reported volumes.

How are the fees invoiced?

Rinki invoices the SUP fees on behalf of the producer organisations and the producer organisations determine the amount of the fees. These fees are invoiced separately from the recycling fees. The 2023 SUP fees are invoiced in spring 2024.

How is SUP packaging reported?

The 2023 SUP packaging is reported in the beginning of 2024. The SUP packaging is reported on the Rinki Extranet with a separate SUP form. In addition, SUP packaging is included in the regular packaging data reporting as usual.

For the sake of equal treatment of producers, it is extremely important that all producers carefully report the volumes of SUP packaging and according to the reporting timeline. The deadline for reporting is 29.2.2024.

Instructions for reporting >
Does it matter if an SUP packaging contains one or several portions?

The number of portions in as sales packaging has a significance only in SUP packaging group 1: Food containers made wholly or partially of rigid material. This group includes packaging that contains only one portion.

 

Example 1: Pastry packaging. A packaging for a single pastry consisting of rigid material and plastic is an SUP product. If the packaging contains two or more pastries (packaging made of rigid material and plastic) it is not an SUP product.

Example 2: Yoghurt beakers. A single yoghurt beaker (one portion) is an SUP product, but if the same beakers are sold as a multipack sales unit, it is not an SUP product.

 

In group 2: Packets and wrappers made from flexible material and group 3: Beverage containers, the number of portions does not matter, only the volume of the packaging. Packaging in these groups have a maximum volume of 3 litres.

 

Example 1: Ice cream cones in a bag containing several cones. Both the wrappers of the cones as well as the bag in which the cones are packed are SUP products, when the volume of the bag is a maximum of 3 litres.

Example 2: Multipack of juice in liquid carton with straw. The packaging of juice with straw are SUP beverage containers also when sold in a multipack sales unit consisting of several juice cartons. In the packaging group for beverage containers the parts of the sales packaging that bundle the single beverage containers together, such as a shrink plastic film or carton sleeve/tray are not considered SUP products.

SUP product – or not?

RINKI has drawn up a product list together with the authorities and the SUP group, consisting of stakeholders, where companies can check whether certain packaging belongs to the scope of the Directive.

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