Waste - Drivers and pressures (Finland)
Consumer behaviour and consumption patterns affect waste generation. Some of the driving forces behind these factors are the general economic situation and the economic circumstances of citizens, households, and enterprises.
In 2007, the average disposable income of a household in Finland was nearly EUR 37 000, about a third higher than in 1990. However, the rise in the average household income has not been steady and the economic recession in the first half of the 1990s caused it to decrease.
In addition to economic factors, societal and cultural changes affect households. From 1966 to 2001 the number of households in Finland increased from 1 385 000 to 2 382 000, and this increase has continued steadily. At the same time, the average number of persons per household has decreased from 3.34 to 2.15, a development that may contribute to the total amount of waste generated by households.
The consumption of natural resources by Finnish households has been studied using the MIPS (Material Input per Service Unit) concept. The use of natural resources is linked to the production of waste in households. The study therefore examined how different characteristics of households (e.g. size, age and income) affect the consumption of natural resources, which, in turn, affects the generation of waste.
One element in the prevention of waste is the principle of producer responsibility in waste management. In Finland, producer responsibility is included in waste legislation and covers:
· electronic and electrical appliances
· batteries and accumulators
· tyres from motor vehicles, other vehicles and equipment
· cars, vans and comparable vehicles
· newspapers, magazines, copy paper, and other comparable paper products
 Household MIPS Natural resource consumption of Finnish households and its reduction. The Finnish Environment 43. Ministry of the Environment 2008