Why are we falling behind on the recycling targets for plastics − Muoviavain project focuses on the key questions of plastics recycling

News 2023-04-05 at 16:00
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Recycling of plastics, recyclability of plastic products and plastic products made of secondary plastics together play a key role in a functioning Circular Economy of plastics. Finland is, however, falling behind on its recycling targets for plastics and today they are recycled in insufficient volumes. To achieve the goals by 2030, the Finnish Environment Institute (Syke) and Griffin Refineries Ltd will together study the current status and future perspectives of plastics recycling and markets of secondary plastics in Finland.

Review of the state of recycling is essential for the implementation of the Plastics roadmap for Finland

”We are generating extensive knowledge on the streams of plastics and plastic wastes, recycling systems and technologies, the activities within the markets of secondary plastics and alternative environmental policies promoting the transition towards Circular Economy of plastics”, Jani Salminen from Syke describes.

"Our study supports the implementation of the Plastics roadmap for Finland so that the recycling of plastics would be substantially more efficient and the markets for secondary plastics much larger by 2030 when compared to the present state”.

A mid-term evaluation for the roadmap for plastics, led by Ministry of the Environment, will be carried out in 2025 and this study (called Muoviavain) will generate relevant information for this process.

"We will make recommendations on how to strengthen the impact of the Roadmap and how to boost recycling of plastics and related Circular Economy in Finland”, Salminen adds.

Transition towards sustainable Circular Economy of plastics underway

In the course of the project, until spring 2025, companies and organizations operating in the value network of circular plastics are to be interviewed. Practices and policies related to recycling of plastics will be examined in relevant European countries such as Sweden and the Netherlands. Stakeholder interaction and international benchmarking are needed to identify and assess actions that promote sustainable recycling of plastics. Recommendations generated in the project ultimately are aimed at decreasing the adverse direct and indirect present-day impacts of the usage of plastics, such as generation of greenhouse gas emissions, use of virgin natural resources and release of plastic waste and microplastics into the environment.

Muoviavain project also examines regulatory questions and e.g. calculation methods for recycling rate in chemical recycling of plastics.

In Finland, cross-sectoral national programme, the Plastics roadmap, is accelerating the transition towards a sustainable Circular Economy for plastics. This roadmap aims at a breakthrough in this transition by 2030. Muoviavain is funded from The Government’s analysis, assessment and research activities by Prime Minister’s office.

More information

Finnish Environment Institute (Syke), Leading researcher Jani Salminen, tel. +358 400 148 613, firstname.lastname@syke.fi

Griffin Refineries Oy, CFO, Business Unit Director Anne Fraser-Vatto, tel. +358 50 5050 911, firstname.lastname(at)griffinrefineries.com


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