Circular economy for plastics in Finland means a plastics responsible society

News 2023-04-06 at 13:54
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The proper sorting of plastics, recycling options, reuse and recycling-friendly product design, and the prevention of litter are examples of the phases of the plastics value chains used by homes, businesses, and agriculture that we want to affect to get the circular economy for plastics operating sustainably in Finland. This is the aim of the PlastLIFE project that extends through 2030 in which we want to increase everyone's understanding of why tackling the plastics challenge is important and how each of us can do our part. The joint project lead by the Finnish Environment Institute (Syke) and 17 Finnish operators was officially launched at a kick-off event on 15-16 March with more than 60 participating experts from different fields. There was enthusiasm in the air and a desire to get moving!

“Reduce consumption of plastic, recycle plastic waste, and replace oil with other raw materials for producing plastic”

The goal of the PlastLIFE project is a sustainable circular economy for plastics in Finland. To reach the goal the project will, for example:

  • produce information on attitudes and behaviour related to plastics, to help us find ways to activate and engage consumers and other operators,
  • develop a risk assessment method to ensure plastics destined for recycling are safe for the environment and health,
  • promote the use of environmentally friendly materials,
  • promote the collection and recycling of plastics through training, corporate innovations, and cooperation,
  • assess the environmental effects of plastics used in construction, demolition, agriculture, and horticulture, and find ways to reduce these effects develop a new packaging material to replace conventional fossil-based plastic, and
  • produce indicators and methods for monitoring plastic flows and the plastics circular economy.

“We face a great challenge, and we need the help of all Finns if we are to overcome it. We the project partners want to cooperate with municipal and corporate networks, event organisers, organisations, and all who are interested in plastics. Feel free to get in touch with us and bring your group with you into the joint effort”, says Helena Dahlbo, Senior Research Scientist at the Finnish Environment Institute.

The tools and results of the PlastLIFE project promote the Plastics Roadmap for Finland and its goals for a breakthrough of a circular plastics economy in Finland and the reduction of harm caused by plastics. The Plastics Roadmap is a unique national programme of measures for the circular plastics economy, which was completed in 2018 under the leadership of the Ministry of the Environment, and which was updated by the cooperative network last year.

Tackling the plastics challenge together

The national seven-year project produces reliable expert information and tools for preventing harm caused by plastics and for making circular economy possible for consumers, the plastics industry, and recycling companies, and provides knowledge for decision makers as well as for students and researchers.

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Experts of PlastLIFE Project operators gathered to kick-off the project in Helsinki 15-16 March 2023. © Miika Kuha, Whitmore

The PlastLIFE project is funded from the EU's LIFE programme, which seeks to advance the implementation of legislation, programmes, and strategies for environmental and climate change in member states. The total budget for the project is EUR 20 million.

The project is coordinated by the Finnish Environment Institute. Project partners are the Ministry of the Environment, Aalto University, City of Helsinki, Finnish Biocycle and Biogas Association, Keep the Archipelago Tidy Association, Karelia University of applied sciences, Kuljetusliike Vaahterinen Oy, LAB University of applied sciences, LUT University, Muovipoli Oy, National Resources Institute Finland (LUKE), Oy Orthex Finland Ab, Plastone Oy, University of Jyväskylä, University of Lapland and University of Turku.

More information

Project leader, Senior Research Scientist Helena Dahlbo, Finnish Environment Institute, +358 295 251 095


PlastLIFE Project web site (in Finnish) (

Brief in English - the Plastics Roadmap for Finland (

EU LIFE Projects in Finland (in Finnish) (

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