Companies submitted their packaging data to Rinki in a new way for the first time

The way that companies report their packaging data to Rinki was revamped at the beginning of 2021. Corporate customers thought that the new reporting practice and Rinki’s instructions were clear although the reporting of packaging composed of multiple materials caused problems.

By Ida Ijäs

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Rinki collects packaging data from companies in the producer responsibility scheme every year. Rinki puts together the data from almost 4,500 businesses and sends it to the Pirkanmaa ELY Centre, which, in turn, compiles Finlands official packaging statistics for the European Commission on the basis of the data submitted by Rinki and other operators. 

Companies were required to report their previous years packaging data according to the new reporting practices for the first time in spring 2021. The changes to the system are due to the changes to the EU Waste Directive, which provides a more detailed framework for reporting the amount of packaging waste generated and recycled.  

Packaging categories are more detailed in the new report 

The new report has four new features. Consumer and B2B packaging are reported separately, as are single-use and reusable packaging. Single-material packaging and multi-material packaging are also reported separately, and the different materials in multi-material packaging must be reported separately unless the total proportion of an individual material is less than five percent of the total weight of the packing unit. Exports, however, no longer need to be reported. 

Companies submitted their packaging data for the first time using the new reporting guidelines. Saint-Gobain Finland Oy found that reporting following the new requirements went smoothly. 

The new requirements had very little impact on our companys data collection process as most of the packaging materials we use are made of only one material. I work with the purchasing department to collect our packaging data, and I also receive information from our sales team, controllers and logistics unit. Great cooperation is one of our organisations strengths, and it was thanks to our joint efforts that we could send the data to Rinki on schedule, says Annina Asikainen, who is responsible for submitting Saint-Gobain Finlands packaging data. 

Annina Asikainen

Preparations for the change were supported by Rinkis online training carried out last October, which dealt with the new reporting procedure.  

The online training helped me to be prepared for the change. I thought that the training was very useful, and I also shared information about the changes within our company. People were well aware of the changes when we started collecting the data, Asikainen continues. 

Introducing the new reporting procedure at short notice caused some problems 

Companies understandably faced a few problems when they had to fill in the reports using the new system for the first time. Timo Aho, who is Linkosuos warehouse manager and is responsible for the companys packaging data, said that multi-material packaging, in particular, caused problems. 

I collect packaging data together with our suppliers. It was difficult for them to establish the exact quantities of different materials in multi-material packaging, but we managed to find the information at the end, says Aho. 

Other issues that made it difficult were the short notice given for the changes to be implemented and the fact that the data were reported retrospectively. 

The changes themselves were clear, but there was not much time. We receive the packaging data from our suppliers, so if they had not been able to react quickly to the new requirements, it would have been impossible to report the packaging data in accordance with the new guidelines,  says Renja Gauriloff, who reports the packaging data at Kesko. 

Renja Gauriloff

Reporting the data retrospectively, especially the different materials in multi-material packaging, was hard work as we did not need to do this before and had not received this information from our suppliers. Im sure the report will be more accurate next year as the suppliers have had more time to prepare for the collection of data under the new reporting rules.

The extranet is easy to use 

Packaging data are submitted using the declaration form on Rinkis extranet website. Instructions on how to fill in the form can be found on the Rinki website in PDF format. The instructions are also available on the extranet by clicking the question marks on the declaration form. 

Timo Aho found the reporting instructions to be very clear and using the extranet easy. 

The question marks were very helpful. It was also great that I could edit the data after submitting the form, he says. 

The new reporting method is likely to improve the reporting process in many companies. 

Annina Asikainen also found the extranet easy to use. 

I like the fact that the different packaging materials have their own pages on the form. The view is simple. The system was very user-friendly in terms of reporting packaging materials that contain several materials.

Rinkis customer service team also offered help with questions concerning reporting and using the extranet.  

I contacted Rinkis customer service team a couple of times. My questions were not really related to the new reporting method but I needed help as it was my first time filling in the report. Rinkis customer service team answered my questions quickly, says Renja Gauriloff. 

Gauriloff also thinks that the extranet is easy to use, but has come up with some ideas for how to speed up the reporting process. 

The extranet would be even more agile if you could download the table in Excel, fill it in and then upload it back to the service, she suggests. 

Commenting on the differences in volumes could also be easier. It would be more user-friendly if the comments could be left immediately, without having to wait until reaching the summary page, says Annina Asikainen. 

The new reporting method also improves company processes 

 The new reporting method is likely to improve the reporting process in many companies. 

Reporting the different materials in multi-material packaging is one of the changes that will require many companies to develop their systems, which takes time. At Kesko, we are assessing the potential areas for development so that we can streamline the process. Im sure that reporting in accordance with the new requirements will be easier for many companies next year as they will have had more time to prepare, says Gauriloff.