5 questions about reporting packaging data

Why is it so important to report packaging data and what is done with the data afterwards? The questions are answered by Harri Sihvonen, Specialist at Finnish Packaging Recycling RINKI Ltd.

By Inka Hyytiäinen

1. Why are packaging data reported to Rinki?

Companies with producer responsibility are obliged to organise the collection and recycling of all packaging material they introduce to the market.

When a company joins Rinki, it transfers its obligation to collect and recycle its packaging to Rinki and producer organisations. All the company needs to do is report its packaging data to Rinki and pay the recycling and customer fees, which are based on its packaging volumes.

This system ensures that the materials used in packaging can be recycled into new packaging and products as efficiently as possible, which reduces the need to use virgin materials.

2. What does Rinki do with the packaging data it collects?

Rinki uses the packaging data it collects as the basis for determining the recycling and customer fees charged to member companies. Rinki also compiles statutory statistics from all packaging data it receives.

Statistics are submitted to the Pirkanmaa ELY Centre once a year, which then calculates and publishes Finland’s official recycling rates and monitors progress towards statutory recycling targets. Increases in recycling rates are good indicators of how effectively packaging waste is recycled in Finland.

3. Why do packaging data reported to Rinki need to be so detailed?

The packaging data form is based on legal obligations and the producer organisations’ information requirements. Having exact data makes it possible to grade the statutory recycling fees, for example, so that the fee is higher for materials that are difficult to recycle. The aim is to encourage companies to use packaging materials that are easier to recycle.

Accurate reports are also vital for ensuring the reliability of statistics.

4. Why is it important to report packaging data as accurately as possible?

The basis of the producer responsibility scheme is that each producer pays its share of the costs of collection and recycling. If a company reports lower volumes of packaging than it should, other companies have to pay the additional costs of running the collection and recycling system. For this reason it is also important that all companies with producer responsibility join the scheme.

Accurate reports are also vital for ensuring the reliability of statistics. Finland’s official packaging statistics are submitted to the European Commission, which monitors Member States’ progress towards recycling targets.

5. Why do packaging data need to be reported in February at the latest?

Member companies must submit the previous year’s packaging data to Rinki by the end of February. Reporting data and paying recycling fees ensures that the collection and recycling system works as efficiently as possible.

The yearly reporting process is also a big job for Rinki’s customer service team as there are thousands of member companies. Rinki must submit packaging statistics to the Pirkanmaa ELY Centre by the end of June. If companies fail to meet the deadline, there is a risk that Rinki will be unable to submit its statistics within the statutory time limit.


Questions are answered by Harri Sihvonen, Specialist at Finnish Packaging Recycling RINKI Ltd.