To facilitate the recycling of fibre packaging, these producer organizations have established a company called Suomen Kuitukierrätys Oy.
Choosing a renewable, recyclable and biodegradable fibre or wooden package is an easy way to be ecological
“We handle the recycling of paper and paperboard packaging in a way that benefits both consumers and the environment. It is important to us that this material is recycled into raw material for new products at a reasonable cost,” says Juha-Pekka Salmi, Managing Director of Suomen Kuitukierrätys Oy. “Renewable, recyclable and clean fibre packaging – as milk and juice containers and carton packaging – is environment-friendly. After use it can be recycled to make raw material for new products. The most important function of packaging is, however, to protect the product it contains.”
Salmi’s organisation will not be short of work because about 40% of the packaging that enters the market in Finland is made out of either paper or board. Finns used some 1.2 billion fibre-based milk and juice cartons in 2008, for example. “The material contained in used household fibre packaging is utilised as a raw material for new packaging cartons and board,” Salmi says.
“The authorities should not demand that recycling is organised in places where materials recovery and recycling is not environmentally or ecologically sensible. Long transport distances, for example, can easily counter the environmental benefits of recycling,” Salmi continues.
General economic situation and market conditions have a powerful impact on the recycling of packaging
World market prices for recycled materials plunged towards the end of 2008 when the economic climate worsened. These prices have a strong impact on the total cost of recycling and factor into the decision on how to utilise recycled material. If no viable use for this material can be found domestically, it will be exported for utilisation overseas.
The recovery, transport and handling costs of recycled packaging material are covered by collecting fees from packagers and the importers of packaged goods.