Changes to the 2021 recycling fees for packaging

Recycling fees for plastic, fibre and plastic packaging will go up next year, while the fees for metal and glass packaging and Rinki’s customer fees will remain unchanged.

By Ida Ijäs

Images iStock, GettyImages

The recycling fees for plastic will increase significantly next year. The recycling fee for consumer plastic packaging will almost double from EUR 119 per tonne last year to EUR 234 per tonne. The recycling fee for plastic packaging that goes to companies will increase from last year’s EUR 54 to EUR 84 per tonne.

The prices are set to increase because Suomen Uusiomuovi Oy, the producer organisation responsible for the recycling of plastic packaging, will need to bring its cash holding and solvency to the level required by the regulations in force, and also because the handling costs and collection volumes of plastic packaging have gone up.

—  The cost of processing plastic packaging for household and consumers has risen due to the requirement in the Waste Act proposal to change the responsibilities and the structure of packaging producer organisations. The volumes of plastic collected also increase considerably every year compared to other types of packaging, says Vesa Soini, CEO of Suomen Uusiomuovi Oy.

The recycling fees for wooden packaging will also increase next year, but slightly more moderately. The recycling fee for FIN, EUR, EPAL pallets, rental pallets and cable reels will increase by 50 cents per tonne, and for other types of wooden packaging by 70 cents per tonne.

—  The fees are further increased by the higher cost of recycling, the general increase in the costs and also the solvency requirement for the producer organisation. Funds are also allocated in our budget to research and development so that we can find new ways to recycle wood packaging, explains Jukka Ala-Viikari, Managing Director of Puupakkausten Kierrätys PPK Oy, which is the producer organisation responsible for the recycling of wooden packaging.

Increased collection volumes and oversupply are behind the increases in the recycling fees for fibre packaging

The recycling fees for fibre packaging will also go up next year. For example, the recycling fee for cardboard and paper packaging was EUR 49.50 per tonne last year, while it will be EUR 73 per tonne next year.

According to Suomen Kuitukierrätys Oy’s Managing Director Juha-Pekka Salmi, the increase in the recycling fees for fibre packaging is down to the increased volumes of fibre packaging waste.

The recycling fees for fibre packaging will also go up next year

— We predicted and announced that there were upward pressures on these recycling fees in the spring and summer, and unfortunately our predictions came true. Cardboard collection volumes have risen steadily in recent years, and the coronavirus pandemic has also caused an increase of about 20 % in cardboard volumes. Although collection logistics have been streamlined at Rinki eco take-back points and the unit costs have come down, the total costs of logistics, collection equipment and maintenance of the eco take-back points have increased, says Salmi.

The oversupply of recycled fibres in the European market has also been a factor in the increased fees.

—  There is still an oversupply of recycled fibres in the European market. Due to the fall in prices and the additional costs of handling, transportation and storage, the compensation for cardboard has fallen to a negative level.

Increases in the recycling fees for fibre packaging are likely to continue in the future.

— The new Waste Act, which is to take effect next year, will significantly increase the cost of producer responsibility in the packaging sector after the transition period from 2023–2024; recycling fees will increase by up to 100% as the cost of collecting packaging waste from residential properties will be largely borne by producers.

 Recycling fees for glass and metal packaging will remain unchanged

There will be no changes to the recycling fees for glass packaging in 2021. The recycling fee for non-deposit glass packaging will remain at 98 euros per tonne. The recycling fees for glass packaging have not increased since 2016.

— The volumes of non-deposit glass packaging waste collected from properties and Rinki eco take-back points have grown steadily since 2016. The volume of glass packaging waste collected and recycled is now about 25 % higher than five years ago. We have also managed to increase the efficiency of our logistics, and we have succeeded in selecting efficient and high-quality operators to run the recycling operations through tendering. These factors have led to a situation in which it has not been necessary to increase the recycling fees from last year, and the recycling fees have actually gone down from the 2017 level, says Rinki’s Operative Director Pertti Tammivuori.

There will be no changes to the recycling fees for glass packaging in 2021

The recycling fees for metal packaging will also remain unchanged. For example, the recycling fee for steel packaging will remain at EUR 26 per tonne.

— Mepak-Kierrätys Oy’s costs have remained at the same level for some years, and the positive result in recent years has improved the company’s balance sheet. The revenue from metal sales has decreased and is expected to decrease further, but instead of increasing the recycling fees, Mepak decided to use the profit shown in the balance sheet to cover the income deficit, says Satu Estakari, Mepak-Kierrätys Oy’s Managing Director.

A large portion of metal packaging is recycled in the Nordic countries and elsewhere in Europe, where the 2018 recycling rate was as high as 82.5 %.

RINKI Ltd’s customer fees will remain unchanged

The changes to the recycling fees will increase the fees related to producer responsibility from a total of EUR 23 million in 2020 to EUR 35 million.

Finnish Packaging Recycling RINKI Ltd’s registration and customer fees for 2021 will be the same as this year.

— We have managed to keep the fees the same for a good few years now, and there is no need to increase them this year either, says RINKI Ltd’s CEO Juha-Heikki Tanskanen.

Recycling fees for packaging 2021

Producer organisations in the packaging sector have determined their recycling fees, specific to the different packaging materials, for 2021.

MATERIAL GROUP MATERIAL Recycling fee 2021 * Recycling fee * 2020
Consumer packaging B2B packaging Consumer packaging B2B packaging
€/tonne €/tonne €/tonne €/tonne
FIBRE Corrugated cardboard packaging  11.00   11.00  9.50 9.50
Industrial wrapping and sacks  17.00   14.00
Industrial cores  17.00   14.00
Carton and paper packaging  73.00   73.00   49.50  49.50
Carton liquid packaging  143.00   143.00   105.00  105.00
PLASTIC Plastic packaging  234.00   84.00                  119,00                   54,00
METAL Aluminium packaging  126.00   26.00   126.00  26.00
Tinplate packaging  126.00   26.00   126.00  26.00
Steel packaging  26.00   26.00   26.00  26.00
GLASS Glass packaging (non-deposit)  98.00   98.00   98.00  98.00
WOOD FIN, EUR and EPAL pallets, rental pallets, cable reels 1.95  1.45
Other wooden pallets and other wooden packaging  2.60   2.60   1.90  1.90

*) VAT will be included to the fees.

Consumer packaging refers to product packaging that ends up or may end up to consumers or households, such as consumer product sales packaging and certain types of grouped and transport packaging.

B2B packaging refers to packaging that ends up in companies along with the product.

The recycling fee payable by a company is based on the material-specific price list and the tonnes of packaging used by the company during the previous year. 2020 packaging data must be submitted to RINKI Ltd by 28 February 2021.

If a company incurs a material-specific recycling fee of more than EUR 10,000, Rinki will invoice for this in two equal instalments, with the second instalment being due 120 days after the first, but not later than 31 October.

Registration and customer fees 2021

Finnish Packaging Recycling RINKI Ltd’s Board of Directors has decided on Rinki’s registration and customer fees for 2021

Fee type Fee *
Unit 2021 2020
Customer fee €/tonne  1.60  1.60
Customer fee minimum €/year/contract  265.00  265.00
Customer fee maximum €/year/contract  4500.00  4500.00
Registration fee €/company                           –                        –

*) VAT will be included to the fees.

Customer fee invoicing is based on the price list and the packaging quantities used by the company during the previous year. An annual minimum and maximum fee is set for the customer fee invoicing (EUR/year/contract).

Late declaration fee and estimate-based invoice for packaging data

According to the terms, a company must annually report to RINKI Ltd the packaging materials and quantities that it has used to pack its products and that it has placed on the market or imported together with its products. 2020 packaging data must be submitted by 28 February 2021.

Reporting packaging data is essential in order for the producer responsibility system to work, as it directly affects the system’s financing, invoicing and operations. If a company submits its 2020 data after 28 February 2021, RINKI Ltd will collect a fee for the late declaration. The fee is EUR 200 (+VAT) for each delayed month or part thereof, and it will be charged for a maximum of three months.

If a company has not submitted its 2020 packaging data by the end of May 2021, RINKI Ltd will invoice the late declaration fee and an estimate-based invoice. The invoice will be based on the packaging data available to RINKI Ltd.