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Plastic recycling in Finland - how plastics are sorted and recycled?

Goodbye to useless plastic waste! Plastic collection has improved tremendously since the collection of household  plastic packaging waste began in 2016, today plastic packaging can be recycled all year round by taking it to a plastic waste collection point found at many shopping centres. All recycled plastic packaging is either recycled or placed with mixed waste for incineration. Below are simple sorting and recycling instructions for plastic packaging:

What can be placed in plastic recycling containers?

  • Empty plastic food packaging, such as yogurt jars, butter boxes, and cold cuts, cheese, and ready-to-eat food packaging
  • Empty plastic detergent, shampoo and soap bottles
  • Plastic bags, bags and clingfilm
  • Empty plastic bottles, cans and  bottles, preferably flattened


  • Rinse empty containers if necessary, dirty packages are classified as mixed waste ⠀
  • Remove  caps and lids, it makes it easier for the processing of plastic packaging
  • Packaging made of PVC must not be placed in plastic recycling containers. The marking is identified by a triangle with the number 3 inside
  • Other plastics such as hard plastic toys, kitchen accessories, tooth brushes or hose pipes, must not be placed with plastic packaging, they should be placed in the mixed waste container.

Why only plastic packaging for recycling?

The reason is legislation; plastic packaging of products is the responsibility of producers. Manufacturers and importers of products are therefore obliged to organize the waste management, collection and recycling of packaging. So far, there is separate legislation on waste management only for plastic packaging. That is, hard plastic products are not desired for collection because their packers do not pay for collection.

In addition, plastic comes in many different grades and in order for plastic to be able to be recycled efficiently a steady stream of the same plastic grade is required. Hard plastic items often consist of many different plastics and may also contain PVC plastic and non-plastic (e.g., metal) parts that make recycling difficult.

Further information can be found, for instance.In the article YLE.

How are hard plastic goods recycled?

From 2018, an Environmental Recycling event for hard plastic products will be held annually in Finland on 5 June. More information on the event can be found in the previous blog post. blog news.

For more information about sorting plastic packing goods can be found Hsy website.

Since  some plastic products are disposed of as mixed waste - and the incineration of mixed waste warms the atmosphere - one way to avoid this is to favour plastic-free, natural and biodegradable products that are disposed of as bio-waste. In our online store you can find alternative products for a plastic-free lifestyle Welcome to browse the plastic-free selection!

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