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Packaging recycling developer in Finland

Sumi Oy is an authorized extended producer responsibility organization in Finland.
Almost 4.000 companies have made a contract with us.
We are a non-profit organization founded in 1992 with 33 owner companies.

Home » News » Sumi and Fortum Recycling & Waste to cooperate: Sumi to build a sorting plant for plastic packaging in Riihimäki and Fortum to expand its range of recycled plastic products

Sumi and Fortum Recycling & Waste to cooperate: Sumi to build a sorting plant for plastic packaging in Riihimäki and Fortum to expand its range of recycled plastic products

Producer responsibility organisation for packaging Sumi Oy and Fortum Recycling & Waste have agreed on wide-ranging cooperation to expedite the recycling of plastic packaging. Sumi is expanding its sphere of operations by investing in a new sorting plant for packaging waste and establishing a new subsidiary, Sumi Sorting Oy, to manage the plant.  

Thanks to the proven technology and Sumi’s innovations that boost the recycling rate, the new plant will at least double the domestic sorting capacity for plastic packaging. In the future, up to 50,000 tonnes of plastic packaging a year can be sorted in Finland. At the same time, the investment will increase the sorting and recycling rate, bringing it closer to the goals set by the EU. The total project budget has been estimated to stand at roughly 44 million euros.  

As part of the collaboration arrangement, Sumi will purchase immediately deployable plans for the sorting plant from Fortum Recycling & Waste and utilise its existing building permit and environmental permit. The new plant will be built within Fortum’s site in Riihimäki. Sumi and Fortum will be operating as partners in the same area where plastic packages are sorted and granulated to recycled raw material.  This will reduce the need for transport and the resulting environmental load significantly. 

Plastic packaging is exported from Finland to other countries for sorting, but producer responsibility organisation Sumi has, in its strategy, decided to favour the domestic processing of packaging waste. The Finnish Government Programme also includes the goal of increasing the self-sufficiency rate of the circular economy. Sumi’s new venture reflects these objectives.  

“It is not sustainable to haul packaging waste all over Europe. To us, domestic processing and self-sufficiency are priorities. More and more packaging producers are also calling for the domestic recycling of plastic packaging and the minimisation of the environmental load caused by waste transport. In this way, we create jobs around the circular economy and ensure that recycled material remains available to the Finnish industry,” says Sumi’s CEO Mika Surakka

“From the perspective of packaging producers, a domestic sorting plant is welcome news. As a non-profit organisation, we can funnel the proceeds of the plant directly into reducing the recycling fees of our member companies,” he continues.  

The demand for a domestic processing plant is clear. The European Union’s Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) is about to be updated. The EU’s goal is to ensure that packaging materials brought to the market can be recycled in an economically sound manner by 2030. The regulation also defines a new blending obligation for packaging, meaning that all packaging must contain a specific percentage of recycled raw material.  

“The domestic plastics industry also requires an increase amount of recycled raw material, which is why it is great the sorting capacity is growing. At the same time, it is important to increase the domestic recycling rate and ensure that all collected plastic packaging is recycled. We believe that this cooperation model is the best way to boost plastic recycling in Finland. Sumi’s sorting plant will sort the plastics which we will then wash and granulate to produce recycled raw materials. This enables us to focus on the production of the Fortum Circo recycled plastic and steer our operations towards expanding our product family. There is market demand for high-quality customised materials made from recycled plastics,” explains Fortum’s Head of Business Line Plastics Toni Ahtiainen

Upon completion, the new sorting plant will replace Fortum’s old sorting plant. The companies have agreed that the new plant can utilise the current expert staff. The plant will also employ new experts from a variety of fields. Fortum Recycling & Waste will continue the planning of its own expansion related to the washing and granulation of recycled plastic.  

“Hopefully, the fully domestic processing will also increase customer motivation to sort plastic packaging. This way, valuable raw materials are not burned with mixed waste but gain new lives as plastic products,” Surakka says in summary.  

“Increasing the recycling rate of plastic packaging to meet the EU’s 50% requirement is absolutely achievable and a challenge we all share”. 

More information:

Mika Surakka
Managing Director
Sumi Oy 
Tel. +358 (0)40 019 7848

Toni Ahtiainen
Head of Business Line Plastics, Fortum Recycling & Waste
Tel. +358 (0)40 019 7533