English 19.11.2013

Upward pressure on prices on the horizon

Extended producer responsibility (EPR) for packaging will raise recovery fees over the coming years. Producer organisations and PYR are doing their utmost to hold the increase in costs to a minimum.

According to PYR’s Managing Director, Juha-Heikki Tanskanen, this is a challenging task as costs are estimated to rise fivefold. The situation varies from material to material, depending such factors as extending present operations, as well as the logistic properties and raw-material value of the respective materials. “The largest additional costs will be incurred in arranging the collection and recycling of consumer packaging that has not previously been the responsibility of the producer organisations. The timetable is also tight. The draft decree on packaging and packaging waste requires a country-wide collection scheme to be available to consumers on 1 January 2016,” he remarks.


Massive organisational tasks

The new Waste Act and the related more detailed packaging decree will have a considerable impact on the costs of producer responsibility and the activities of the producer organisations.

“With the adoption of EPR the producer organisations in the packaging sector will have to organise and bear the costs of regional collection of consumer packaging, take-back centres for collected packaging material and the delivery of the material for recovery.

The producer organisations will also assume obligations concerning information activities related to the collection scheme. In addition to the above mentioned costs, the Waste Act requires the producer organisations to maintain solvency to cover their operations for a six-month period.

The new costs arising from the producer organisations’ new remit will be realised partially in 2015 and fully from 2016,” Tanskanen explains.

Looking ahead

We posed the following three questions to representatives from four producer organisations:

* How much will your prices change next year and why?

* How has the sector prepared for the coming year and its challenges?

* As matters stand a price rise is coming in 2015 and especially in 2016. Will your prices rise in the coming years by one large increase or gradually?


Vesa Kärhä, Managing Director of Suomen Uusiomuovi Oy (the producer organisation for plastic packaging)


The recovery fee for plastic packaging will be adjusted from the present EUR 21 per tonne to EUR 25 per tonne. That will be adequate for establishing the first phase of new preparedness for the collection of consumer packaging in particular. We are testing more efficient systems, among other things, at our take-back facilities in Tampere and Kuopio. A great deal will be happening in the plastic packaging sector in 2014. We are holding a special seminar in Vantaa on 10 April 2014. Presumably, both recovery as energy and material recycling will make great strides in 2014.

Our task is to direct the steps forward and to try and see that nobody steps on another’s toes. Next year we will gather more specific information on the division between consumer and industrial packaging, among other things.

We want to make this heavy statutory obligation on packers as easy and cheap as possible. With regard to plastics, very much depends on what will be the statutory requirement for the size of the take-back network, whether all packaging waste including impurities and so on should be accepted from everybody and on top of that how great the recycling requirement will be. These issues are ultimately not foreseeable when this statement is made in November 2013, and it is therefore difficult to predict the coming price rise accurately.


Maija Peltola, Managing Director of Suomen Keräyslasiyhdistys (the producer organisation for glass packaging)


The recovery fee for glass has so far been low being EUR 10 per tonne as Suomen Keräyslasiyhdistys (SKY) has not contributed to the costs of collection activities other than subsidising municipalities for the delivery of collected packaging glass for recovery.

To cover the costs of future obligations, SKY is raising the recovery fee for non-deposit glass gradually during 2014, 2015 and 2016. The recovery fee for 2014 will be EUR 50 per tonne. This will enable the attainment of adequate solvency required by legislation and preparations for the new collection scheme. The estimate for recovery fees for 2015 and 2016 will become more accurate on the basis of the finalised requirements of legislation in 2014.

Collection and recovery costs of glass packaging rise due to the weight of glass, which increases logistic costs, the limitations of recycling possibilities and the fact that the collected material does not have any positive value as costs are incurred in the cleaning and sorting needed for recycling.

SKY’s aim is that the collection and recovery of non-deposit glass packaging are taken care of in compliance with the obligations required by legislation after the adoption of EPR and cost-effectively. A successful end result requires cooperation between other producer organisations, PYR, municipalities and waste management operators.


Eija Jokela, Managing Director of Suomen Kuitukierrätys Oy/Suomen Aaltopahviyhdistys ry (the producer organisations for fibre and corrugated cardboard packaging)


The recovery fee will remain the same for corrugated cardboard packaging, will rise for carton liquid packaging and will decrease for consumer paper and carton packaging. The main factors affecting recovery fees are the costs of collection logistics and ensuring solvency.

With regard to fibre packaging a collection network for consumers is already in existence and largely maintained by the producer organisation. Hence, no dramatic changes are so far foreseeable at least during 2014. The collection network and equipment to be used are, of course, being assessed and fine-tuned in a continuous improvement process as has been the case up to the present.

We at Suomen Kuitukierrätys have estimated that the establishment of a collection network for fibre packaging in compliance with the proposals of the packaging decree will affect recovery fees with a rise of 40-50 per cent while the quantities of collected and recycled fibre packaging material will not rise from their present level.

Changes in recovery fees should be adopted in a controlled and gradual manner without causing any large surprising swings in the producers’ finances.


Tapani Sievänen, Managing Director of Mepak-Kierrätys Oy (the producer organisation for metal packaging)


Recovery fees for metal packaging have been at a very low level: EUR 24 per tonne for aluminium and tinplate packaging and EUR 5 per tonne for steel packaging. This is due to the fact that Mepak has so far only participated in the collection of consumer packaging in the Helsinki Region, namely in the area served by the Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority.

The coming obligations will incur expenditure, and for this reason Mepak will raise recovery fees for metal packaging gradually during the period 2014-2016. The recovery fees for 2014 for aluminium and tinplate packaging will be EUR 30 per tonne and EUR 6 per tonne for steel packaging.

By means of this adequate solvency required by legislation can be attained. A new collection network is also under preparation in the sector. The estimate for recovery fees for 2015 and 2016 will be more exact once the finalised requirements of legislation become clearer in 2014.

Mepak is preparing for the situation where the collection and recycling of metal packaging will be taken care of in compliance with the obligations required by legislation after the adoption of EPR and cost-effectively in cooperation with other stakeholders.