Year 2023 has had a busy start: the last steps of getting a producer responsibility organization status for all types of packaging are underway. We are building up our operations to measure up to the new status and to the changes brought about to the industry by legislation. In December our team of experts was joined by Eeva Hanni, who began working as a Materials Manager at FPR. The collection terminal partners for plastic and glass packaging have been selected. As for metal and fiber packaging, the competitive bidding has been completed and negotiations are underway. The agreements will come into effect during this spring.
Right at the end of last year there was a small fire at the sorting plant for consumer plastic packaging at Riihimäki (link in Finnish), which caused an almost three week interruption to material deliveries to sorting. The origin of the fire remains unknown, but we believe that it might have been caused by batteries of rechargeable electronic devices. Nowadays more and more lithium-ion batteries are used by households in, for example, mobile devices, tools and electric toothbrushes. Electronic devices and batteries do not belong in plastic packaging collection, as they can ignite and become a safety hazard. FPR has updated its sorting guidelines for plastic packaging and is preparing consumer communications on this subject.
The preliminary reports on 2022 plastic packaging collection volumes have been completed. All in all, the amount of plastic packaging received in the collection system organized by producer responsibility organizations was 52 071 tons. It looks like the amount collected was slightly smaller than in the previous year: -1,0%. In order to achieve the new recycling targets, we need more enthusiasm for packaging sorting that is compliant with the guidelines. During the summer of 2023, collection will expand to all residential properties with more than five apartments, and the amount of collection points for plastic packaging will increase to a thousand. The calculations for recycling rates will be completed in April, but already now we know that the recycling rate for plastic has improved significantly.
The producer community as a line of business is facing changes, and also FPR will continue to develop its operations. Stay in touch with the changes by following our newsletter and web pages.