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Packaging recycling developer in Finland

Sumi Oy is an authorized extended producer responsibility organization in Finland.
More than 3.000 companies have made a contract with us.
We are a non-profit organization founded in 1992 with 33 owner companies.

The single-use plastics directive (SUP-directive) introduces new requirements for plastic packaging and products

In June 2019, the European Parliament and the Council passed Directive (EU) 2019/904, the so-called SUP-directive (SUP = single-use plastics), which aims to prevent and reduce the impact of single-use plastic products on the environment and human health. The environmental focus is especially on the aquatic environment, as a significant part of the plastic waste that accumulates on the shores of the European Union is single-use plastic.

The directive consists of several requirements that enter into force at different times.

In Finland, the requirements have been put into practice in terms of legislation by the amendment to the Waste Act (714/2021), which entered into force on 19 July 2021, and by the Government Decree on certain plastic products (1318/2022), which entered into force on 29 December 2022 and repealed the regulation enacted on 23 August 2021. These changes implemented product bans and labeling requirements.

The Waste Act was updated again on December 20, 2022, and in connection with it, a regulation on compensations paid to municipalities by producers of certain plastic products (1320/2022) was enacted to guide other requirements and changes. Link HE 141/2022 vp (eduskunta.fi).

The main content of the SUP-Directive

The SUP-directive applies to certain single-use products containing plastic, all plastic products made of oxo-degradable plastic and all fishing gear containing plastic. A product does not have to be entirely plastic to fall within the scope of the directive, and no minimum amount has been defined for the amount of plastic. Thus, for example, a plastic-coated cardboard mug is a SUP-product.

Requirements according to the SUP (=single use plastics) directive:

  • Prohibitions 2021 (e.g. straws, disposable cutlery, plates, products made of oxo-plastic, drink packaging made of expanded PS and ready-to-eat food packaging)
  • Reducing use (hard food packaging and drinking cups)
  • Sufficiently extensive Green Deal must be completed by 2023, reduction in accordance with national goals
  • Measurement point 2026
  • Product requirements for beverage packaging (max. 3 l), regarding both packaging with and without a deposit
  • The plastic cap or lid must remain attached to the package during use (from 1 July 2024)
  • Mandatory use of recycled plastic: in PET bottles min. 25 % (in 2025) and in all drinking bottles min 30 % (in 2030)
  • Labelling requirement 2021 (e.g. cups, tobacco, wet wipes)
  • Anti-litter markings (the so-called turtle mark)
  • Separate collection requirement for drinking bottles and their caps/lids (max. 3 l)
  • Collectable 77 % of those put on the market (in 2025), 90 % (in 2029)
  • Extended producer responsibility
  • *SUP-producers are responsible for the costs of cleaning up SUP-waste in public areas from 2023 (gradually)
  • Educational measures for all the product groups mentioned above (except the prohibited ones)

Packaging producers incur costs for changing packaging and packaging labels in accordance with the requirements. In addition, the extended producer responsibility brings a completely new cost, the so-called SUP-fee, which will be collected for the first time in Finland in 2024 (for the year 2023).

The SUP-product groups in terms of compensation paid to municipalities are
(share of the littering prevention/cleaning cost according to the regulation):

  • Hard packaging for foodstuffs (10.0 % / 2.5 %)
  • Packaging and wrapping made of flexible material (11.5 % / 13.0 %)
  • Beverage packages (9.0 % / 3.0 %)
  • Lightweight plastic carrier bags (4.0 % / 1.0 %)
  • Drinking cups and their caps and lids (12.5 % / 5.0 %)
  • Filtered tobacco products and filters (0.5 % / 11.0 %)
  • Wet wipes (- / 1.0 %)
  • Balloons (- / 0.0 %)

Definitions of SUP-products

EU has published guidelines that describe which products are covered by the SUP-directive, but the guidelines leave a lot of room for national interpretation (link European Commission guidelines).

Sumi Oy, together with its service company Suomen Pakkauskierrätys RINKI Oy and other operators, has applied for confirmation from the Finnish authorities about the definitions to be used in Finland regarding SUP-packaging. Many products are country-specific and there have been many borderline cases.

Familiarize yourself with the policy of the supervisory authority and the answers to the producers’ questions. In addition, RINKI’s SUP-group, which consists of various stakeholders, has drawn up a product list with the authorities, which contains examples of whether the packaging falls within the scope of the directive or not. The SUP-non-SUP product list can be found on the adjacent column and on RINKI’s website. The product list is updated according to new guidelines from the EU or the authorities.

SUP-packages are:

  • Hard packages for food, i.e. containers, such as lidded and lidless boxes, in which food is stored, which is intended to be eaten immediately either on the spot or taken away, is usually eaten from the container and is ready to eat without cooking, boiling or heating or other preparation. Applies to single-dose packages. Does not apply to plates.
  • Packages and wrappers made of flexible material, the food inside of which is intended to be consumed immediately from the package or wrapper without further preparation. Applies to packages with a volume of less than three liters. The portion size does not matter.
  • Beverage packages with a volume of no more than three liters, such as plastic bottles and their caps and lids, as well as composite material packages with caps and lids. Does not apply to glass or metal beverage packages with plastic caps or lids. Does not apply to the packaging of strong (over 22 vol%) alcoholic beverages.
  • Drinking cups other than those sold empty to end users, including their caps and lids
  • Light plastic carrier bags

Annual reporting of SUP-products and packaging

RINKI will start collecting data on SUP-packaging as part of the packaging producers’ annual reporting in 2024, when the packaging data for 2023 will be reported. During 2023, companies must therefore collect information about the SUP-packages they put on the market. SUP-packages are reported with a separate SUP-form and, as before, also with the usual package information notification form.

For SUP-packages, the information will be reported to RINKI by the end of February, and for other SUP-products to the producer organization responsible for them. The producer organizations decide on the size of the payments in accordance with the allocations in the regulation. RINKI invoices the SUP-fees on behalf of the packaging producer organizations. Invoicing will take place separately from the recycling fee invoicing in June 2024. You can find preliminary estimates of the size of the fees here.

Responsibilities for cleaning costs of SUP-products

According to the legislation, SUP-producers have a certain cost responsibility for the costs of preventing littering and cleaning of SUP-products, as well as SUP-related advice. The cost of the municipalities for the measures in question for the period 2023–2025 is defined as 4,79 e/inhabitant. According to the regulation, 3,09 euros of this are the costs of preventing littering and 1,70 euros are cleaning costs. From 2026, the basis of calculation is the municipalities’ actual costs.

During 2022, a garbage survey was carried out in Finland, which mapped the proportion of SUP-waste by product group both in waste containers and on the ground. The municipality’s costs are first divided between non-SUP and SUP-waste, and then the share of SUP-products is allocated to different SUP-product groups in accordance with the distribution shares of the regulation. The annual data on the 2023 packaging collected at the beginning of 2024 must therefore also include quantitative data on the product groups of SUP packaging.

Technical requirements for SUP-products

Legislation regarding the mandatory 25 % share of recycled plastic in PET-bottles, the mandatory retention of caps in beverage packages and the 77 % collection requirement in beverage bottles will be completed during the fall of 2023.

We will update this page when we receive new information about the legislation and its impact on practical actions.

SUP-related questions are answered at Sumi by material manager Eeva Hanni, eeva.hanni@sumi.fi, phone 050 300 9576.

Links:

Single use plastics SUP | Finnish safety and chemicals agency (Tukes)
Agreement to reduce the use of single use plastics – Ministry of the environment
One-portion plastic package Green Deal -commitment

Documents

DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL: on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment (EU) 2019/904

Official journal of the EU

NOTICES FROM EUROPEAN UNION INSTITUTIONS, BODIES, OFFICES AND AGENCIES: Commission guidelines on single-use plastic products in accordance with Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment (EU) 2019/904

Official journal of the EU

SUP – ei-SUP -TUOTELISTAUS

Päivitetty 9.10.2023

Tuotteessa on muovia

SUP OR NOT SUP?

Here is a list comprised by RINKI.

We will update this page when we receive new information about the legislation and its impact on practical actions.

SUP-related questions?

Contact Eeva Hanni, material manager

eeva.hanni@sumi.fi

tel. 050 300 9576.