Finland has signed the European Plastics Pact, where a large number of European countries, companies and associations make a commitment to acting on a voluntary basis to reduce the environmental harm caused by plastics.
The pact was published in Brussels on Friday 6 March. It covers all stages of a circular economy: design and production, use, and reuse and recycling.
According to the Ministry of the Environment, the goals concern the recycling and consumption of plastic packaging materials and use of recycled plastics.
The aim is to increase the collection, sorting and recycling of these plastic by 25%. In addition, their consumption should be reduced by 20% by 2025 from the volumes in 2017.
“I encourage Finnish companies to learn about the commitment and take action to boost a circular economy for plastics. Reduction, recycling and reuse of plastics is an absolute necessity because the plastics that have been produced do not decompose in the natural environment,” says Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Krista Mikkonen.
Raising use of recycled plastics
Companies using plastics covered by the Pact should raise the average percentage of recycled plastics in their products to 30%, and all packages and single-use plastic products placed on the market should be fully recyclable or reusable by 2025.
The signatories will cooperate to reach the goals, for example by taking actions that reduce the single-use of plastics and create smart recycling solutions and harmonised guidelines and standards. They also commit to sharing their best practices and reporting on the progress made towards the goals.
However, the goals, terms and conditions of the Pact are not legally binding.
“The Pact supports those who wish to lead the way. By implementing the Plastics Roadmap of its own, Finland has been one of the most active countries in Europe in addressing the plastics challenge,” Minister Mikkonen says.
The Pact has been prepared as a collaborative effort between a large number of companies, ministries of the Member States, European Commission, business associations and non-governmental organisations.