My recycling habits: “To become a good recycler, you must first learn how to sort waste correctly,” says Antro Säilä, Chair of the Rinki Board

Antro Säilä, Chair of the Rinki Board, describes himself as “a keen and careful recycler”. However, this was not the case a few years ago. What made Säilä change his mind?

By Pepita Weeraratne

What are your sorting and recycling habits like?

I think I’m an average type of sorter and recycler.

What kind of packaging do you sort for recycling at home?

Where we live in Lahti, mixed waste and waste used in energy production are collected separately from detached and semi-detached houses. In addition to these, we have a large plywood box in the hallway into which we sort cartons, plastics, glass and metal. We also sort deposit bottles into aluminium, plastic and glass.

How do you sort and recycle your packaging waste?

We take non-deposit packaging to a Rinki ecopoint during an evening walk or when we go to grocery shopping, and we return aluminium and plastic deposit containers to new reverse vending machines in the supermarkets that can take a large number of containers in one go. We take glass bottles to the nearby shop, where they are inserted one by one by hand.

How long have you been recycling your packaging waste?

I took my time to start sorting waste; for quite some time I wasn’t interested in sorting but put everything into the mixed waste bin both at home and elsewhere. I got a wake-up call a few years ago when I realised what needs to be done to make circular economy work, and I’ve been a keen and careful recycler ever since. If you want to become a good recycler, you must first be a careful sorter.

What else does your household recycle, besides packaging waste?

There is a well-functioning waste collection point, Pilleri, in the Kujala waste centre in my hometown, Lahti. It is easy and inexpensive to take everything there that is no longer needed at home – inexpensive because there is no fee for recyclable goods.

What do you find most difficult about the sorting instructions?

If there aren’t any. If there are instructions and they are easy to follow, then there is no problem.

Antro Säilä’s tips for sorting

“It’s a good idea to flatten milk cartons and pack as many as you can into one carton. This saves space both at home and in recycling containers.”


Antro Säilä

  • Managing Director, Finnish Packaging Association
  • Editor in Chief, Pakkaus Magazine
  • Chair, Rinki’s Board of Directors

My recycling habits is a series in which Rinki’s stakeholders reveal their sorting and recycling habits and share their sorting tips with readers of the Rinki online magazine. For more sorting tips, visit the Rinki blog!