“A step towards fairer treatment” – Rinki’s campaign focuses on overseas distance sellers and ‘Recycling heroes’ – a website in Finnish especially designed for schoolchildren
“A step towards fairer treatment” – Rinki’s campaign focuses on overseas distance sellers

Producer responsibility for packaging expanded last summer to include foreign online shops and other distance sellers. Rinki decided to launch a campaign to involve foreign companies in the producer responsibility scheme. The project has turned Rinki’s expert Suvi Rapola into quite the detective.

The amended Waste Act means that overseas distance sellers are included in the producer responsibility scheme. As Rinki’s expert, Suvi Rapola, can you tell us: what changed?

EU Member States must now ensure that producers also meet their producer responsibility obligations when selling goods online, according to the EU Waste Directive. The obligation of the directive was put into effect in Finland by the revised Waste Act, which entered into force in July.

The change in legislation was very welcome. This is a step towards fairer treatment in terms of producer responsibility obligations. It also means that the packaging statistics compiled by Rinki will be even more comprehensive as online shopping will be included in the scope of reporting.

Rinki has launched a customer acquisition project for distance sellers. What is the project about?

Rinki’s project to encourage cross-border distance sellers to become members started with a background study, which I drew up before the amended legislation entered into force. I went through the development of online shops and identified the key players. I drew up a customer acquisition plan on the basis of the report, which I’m now implementing.

Rinki’s goal is to involve all overseas online shops in the system so that they can fulfil their producer responsibility obligations in Finland. In practical terms, this means signing a customer agreement managed by Rinki. There is a separate agreement form for distance sellers to join the producer responsibility scheme, but the same terms and conditions apply to all Rinki customers.

What has the project achieved so far and what can we expect to happen next?

We have approached online shops operating outside Finland with an INFO newsletter, and a separate brochure has been prepared for this target group. Our campaign material describes the new obligation and how to handle it in the most convenient manner in Finland.

The first round of messages was sent to foreign online shops and producer responsibility consultants in August.
Some overseas companies use consulting agencies to fulfil their producer responsibility obligations. These compliance consultants, prompted by the campaign, have been in contact Rinki.

The first agreements have already been signed with distance sellers. Work will continue with targeted communications aimed at specific companies. New online shops that sell packaged products to Finnish customers appear all the time, and we continue to inform them about how to manage the producer responsibility obligations.

You can read the full information here:


Communication Initiative “Recycling Heros”

Children can now explore the world of recycling through a game. Kierrätyksen sankarit (‘Recycling heroes’) is a website in Finnish especially designed for schoolchildren. It is a great way to learn everyday recycling skills in a fun way in the digital gaming world. The game teaches players how waste is sorted, recycled and further processed.

Kierrätyksensankarit.fi is the first website that is this extensive and teaches players the rules of sorting and recycling, as well as tests their skills in a fun way. The interactive game was created in collaboration with twelve producer organisations, and players do not even notice that they are learning recycling skills. The website is designed to be used in schools, and it is especially suitable for primary school children.

“It’s important for children to understand that sorting and recycling are a natural part of sustainable consumption. The gaming environment, however, is suitable for all of us, from school children to older people,” says Heli Satuli, Communications Manager at Finnish Packaging Recycling RINKI Ltd.

Visitors to the website spent more than eight minutes on the game in the first month after its launch, so the game clearly interests and activates its users.

Recycling at home, the supermarket, and other familiar places

Recycling skills are taught in recycling environments that children are familiar with: in the home, at collection points, shops, in town and in nature. Each recycling environment not only features games and tasks but also provides sorting instructions and information related to waste sorting, recycling and further processing of materials.

Players can also find useful information on how to recycle plastic, cardboard, beverage, glass and wood packaging, as well as paper, metal, electrical equipment, batteries, cars and tyres. Players complete tasks to go from being a novice to a recycling superhero by collecting stars. The tasks are simple but versatile – there are different types of tasks, and they require powers of deduction, visual perception, and reading comprehension.

The website https://kierratyksensankarit.fi/ is free to use, and you don’t need to register, and the tasks can be done on any device.