Waste - National Responses (Finland)

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Waste - National Responses
Waste Waste
Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 21 Mar 2015


A comprehensive description of waste and waste-related legislation, policies and instruments is set out in the Country Fact Sheet for Finland on the website of the European Topic Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production. The national objectives, in line with EU policies and other international activities, aim to prevent the generation of waste, contribute to the reuse of waste and reduce the adverse effects of waste management. Finnish legislation also covers some issues not yet addressed by EU legislation and, in some cases, the limits and standards are stricter than those applied in the EU are.


The main objectives of the National Waste Plan for 2016 are as follows:


Finland’s waste policy specifically aims to prevent waste and reduce its negative effects on human health and the environment. To meet this objective it is important to:


• prevent the generation of waste

• promote the reuse of waste

• promote the biological recovery of waste and the recycling of materials

• promote the use of waste unsuitable for recycling as energy

• ensure that the treatment and disposal of waste does not cause harmful impacts.


Waste management goals and the policy instruments required to achieve these goals come under eight categories:


1. Increasing waste prevention by promoting material efficiency

2. Increasing recycling

3. Promoting the management of hazardous substances in the context of waste

4. Reducing the harmful climatic impact of waste management

5. Reducing the negative health and environmental impact of waste management

6. Improving and clarifying the organisation of waste management

7. Developing expertise in the waste sector

8. Establishing criteria for safe and well-managed transfrontier waste shipments


One of the main targets is to maintain the volume of municipal solid waste at the 2000 level and then achieve a decrease by 2016. Another target is to recycle 50 % of municipal waste, obtaining energy from 30 % and ensuring that no more than 20 % are disposed in landfills.


Additional targets are:


• to recover all manure from farming activity

• to treat 90 % of sludge originating from sparsely-populated areas in sewage treatment plants and 10 % in farm biogas installations

• to recover materials or energy from 70 % of all construction and demolition waste

• to replace 5 % of the natural gravel and crushed rocks used in construction and other activities with industrial and/or mining waste

• to recover 100 % of municipal sewage.


The plan suggests that industrial sectors should negotiate sector-specific agreements to promote material efficiency and that these agreements should set targets for waste prevention and recycling.


The National Waste Plan includes a separate national waste prevention programme.


A monitoring programme will be established to assess the implementation and impacts of the national plan. The programme will provide a list of indicators and steering instruments and the monitoring will mainly be based on waste sector statistics compiled by Statistics Finland. An interim report based on the monitoring programme will be published in 2010 and 2013.


In addition to the National Plan, most of the former 13 regional environmental centres had local waste plans. On 1 January 2010, the regional environmental centres merged with employment and economic centres, road districts, regional environmental centres and state provincial offices to form 15 Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment. These new centres will now administer local waste plans.


Waste sector legislation is due to be revised in full and proposals are expected to be ready in September 2010[1].


Much of Finland’s waste legislation can be accessed in Finlex, the database of Finnish legislation (http://www.finlex.fi/en/laki) using the search word ‘waste’.

[1] Jätealan lainsäädännön kokonaisuudistus, Finnish Environmental Administration (in Finnish).


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