Recycling is part of Christmas: sorting tips for the festive season

The Christmas season means joy, great food and gifts to many of us, and it’s also a time when we produce more packaging waste than usual. At Christmas, there can be a lot of traffic at Rinki eco take-back points. It is a good idea to take your packaging to the eco take-back point either well before Christmas or once the holidays are over.

More household packaging waste now ends up being recycled. In 2018, 70% of packaging was recycled, and according to a recent survey carried out by Rinki, 43% of people said that their household is more willing to sort waste than two years earlier. This is especially true during peak packaging recycling seasons, such as Christmas, when Rinki points are very busy. Many people clean their homes thoroughly at this time of year and go through their cupboards and storerooms.

Despite all the things on your to-do list, it’s important to remember that recycling is also part of Christmas. It’s a smart idea to take your packaging waste to an eco take-back point well before Christmas or, alternatively, wait until well after the festive season.

“We recommend that people use Rinki eco take-back points with press machines for cardboard and plastic during the holidays, as they can hold many times more packaging than ordinary collection containers. The coronavirus pandemic has increased online orders, which is especially evident in the growing volumes of carton packaging. Large cardboard boxes must always be flattened so that they do not cause press machines to become clogged up and do not take up unnecessary space in the containers,” says Rinki’s Operative Director, Pertti Tammivuori.

There are press machines for cardboard at more than 370 Rinki eco take-back points, and as many as 180 points have a press machine for plastic. You can easily locate your nearest point with a press machine using the eco take-back point search on Rinki’s website.

“Every Rinki eco take-back point user must follow the instructions provided and ensure, for their part, that the collection points remain tidy. If an eco take-back point is full, the waste must never be left outside the container. It’s also prohibited to leave any items that don’t belong to Rinki points, such as Christmas trees or furniture, there – these items must be taken to municipal waste collection points. We encourage people to report any full or unclean eco take-back points to Rinki’s customer service free of charge. The contact details can be found at the take-back points and on the rinkiin.fi website,” says Tammivuori.

Sorting is easy – tips for keeping it simple this Christmas

When sorting packaging, it is essential to ask yourself two things: 1. Is it packaging? 2. Is it made of carton, glass, metal or plastic? If the answer to both questions is ‘yes’, you can take your empty, clean packaging to any Rinki eco take-back point or to your residential building’s packaging collection.

How to sort the most common Christmas packaging:

Chocolate boxes and chocolate advent calendars: Cardboard boxes go in the cardboard packaging collection, the plastic tray inside goes in the plastic packaging collection.

Christmas flower wrapping and gift wrapping: Plastic wrapping for poinsettias, hyacinths and other Christmas flowers can be put into the plastic packaging collection, while colourful flower wrapping papers as well as gift wrap papers contain a lot of ink and coatings, which make them unsuitable for recycling with either cardboard or paper. They are disposed of with mixed waste.

Glögi cartons and bottles: Glögi cartons can be put into the cardboard packaging collection. If the carton has a plastic cap, it is recycled with plastic packaging. Non-deposit glögi bottles made of glass are recycled with glass packaging. If it’s a deposit bottle, return it through a bottle return machine in a shop.

Tealight cups and grave candle covers: If they are metal, you can recycle them with metal. Plastic and glass shells of grave candles are not considered packaging, so they are recycled according to the guidelines provided by the municipality.

Garden candle tin cans and aluminium foil dishes: You can put small metal items in the metal collection, in addition to metal packaging. Items in this category that people often have at Christmas include tealight cups, garden candle containers and aluminium foil dishes.

New Year’s tin is hazardous waste and must be taken to your municipality’s free hazardous waste collection.

Recycle your packaging on your trip to the shops

Recycling your empty packaging is a smart and useful climate act as new products or packaging are made from recycled materials. In addition to waste collection points at residential buildings, consumers can take sorted and clean household packaging waste to more than 1,850 Rinki eco take-back points. Almost half of Rinki eco take-back points are located beside shops or shopping centres. It’s easy to recycle your empty packaging when you do your shopping.

Detailed information about how to sort your packaging waste

Instructions for sorting packaging: rinkiin.fi/sorting-instructions

More information:

Jaana Lindman, Communications Manager, tel. +358 40 709 1920

Pertti Tammivuori, Operative Director, tel. +358 500 705 772

Our e-mail addresses are in the format firstname.lastname@rinkiin.fi