Finland establishes plastics recycling scheme / Packaging waste recycled by Ekokem
Finland is reorganising its recycling operations so that plastic waste can be recycled separately. The aim is to establish 500 recycling points in connection with grocery stores around the country, reports Finland’s national public broadcasting company Yleisradio (Yle).

The new system is being coordinated by Finnish Packaging Recycling Rinki (Helsinki;, a non-profit service company owned by Finnish industry and retail trade. "The plastic recycling programme will begin in southern Finland," said Pia Vilenius, development manager at Rinki. "The network will be ready by the end of July – probably earlier, but that's the deadline." Rinki intends to open a total of 1,850 “eco hotspots”, where people can deposit glass, cardboard and metal for recycling, of which 500 will include plastic recycling. Until now plastic packaging waste was classed as energy recovery waste to be burned or was sent to landfills.

Once collected, the plastics waste will be taken to waste management company Ekokem (Riihimäki / Finland;, where it will be recycled for reuse in applications such as posts, fences and roadblocks.

Initial plastic recycling test runs in Kuopio and Tampere have yielded positive results, reports Yle. "People are really into the idea. The biggest bonus is that this way we conserve oil because we don't need to manufacture virgin plastic," said Vilenius.

On average, each Finn produces some 15 kg of plastic waste per year, according to Suomen Uusiomuovi Oy (The Finnish Plastics Recycling, FPR, Helsinki;, which is responsible for promoting plastics recycling in Finland. Vesa Soini, managing director of FPR, points out that Sweden has had a plastic recycling system for two decades, and that Swedes manage to recycle some 4-5 kg of packaging plastic per person. It is too early to provide an accurate estimate of how much Finns are likely to recycle, although Soini said his personal guess is about 2 kg per person. "The goal is to salvage 80% of all household plastics, which have to meet quality standards for the recycling process to be worthwhile," he added.
21.01.2016 [233138-0]
Published on 21.01.2016

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