This deposit-return system could accept juice containers in the near future. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

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RETURN RATE OF GLASS BOTTLES

Recycling could take the next big step forward in Finland in the near future.

Juice companies have asked Suomen Palautuspakkaus Oy, Palpa, which manages the return systems of beverage packages, to find out, whether building deposit-return systems for juice packages made of plastic, glass or aluminum could be possible within the current legislation.

Recycling bottles and cans—and collecting a small deposit of them—is second nature to Finns.

For over seven decades the return system has accepted glass bottles: alcohol, lemonade and sparkling water. Since mid-90s aluminum cans have provided money in the pocket. Twelve years later the system started accepting PET plastic bottles.

Less trash, more money. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

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RETURN RATE OF CANS IN 2017

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RETURN RATE OF PET-BOTTLES IN 2017

TAX CARROTS

According to Palpa, you are hard-pressed to find any returnable bottles or cans from the trash these days. (That’s why local bottle collectors usually attempt to pick the beer bottle straight from your hand if you’re sitting in the park. Sometimes even before you have finished it.)

However, today’s trash is filled with juice containers of various kinds. These end up in the landfills.

As the world becomes greener one step at a time, many beverage companies have started taking notice. It also helps if there is a “carrot” involved. According to Palpa, which is owned by franchising groups and breweries, the beverage companies producing returnable packages receive additional tax benefits.

“Now we have received inquiries from companies that don’t have access to these tax benefits,” said Pasi Nurminen, CEO at Palpa.

 

HOW THE RECYCLING SYSTEM WORKS

 

1. The manufacturer or importer of the beverage pays PALPA the deposit for the product delivered for sales
2. The manufacturer or importer of the beverage delivers the product for sales in a shop which pays the deposit to the manufacturer or importer of the beverage in the price of the product
3. The consumer pays the deposit when buying the product and receives it back when returning the empty package to a returning point
4. The return point and the processing plant report the returned packages to PALPA
5. PALPA pays the deposits to the return points in accordance with the number of reported returned packages

(Source: PALPA)