Waste – the aim is to reduce the quantity and harmfulness of waste

The aim of waste policies is to promote the sustainable use of natural resources and to ensure waste does not pose a health or environmental hazard. The waste policies of Finland and the European Union are based on the following key principles:

  • Prevention: The production and harmful impact of waste should be reduced and wherever possible prevented at source.
  • The Polluter Pays: The producers of wastes take responsibility for the costs of waste management.
  • Producer Responsibility: Manufacturers and importers of certain product types must bear the responsibility for the management of their products when they become waste, instead of waste producers.
  • The Precautionary Principle: Potential risks related to waste and waste management should be anticipated.
  • The Proximity Principle: Waste should be disposed of near to their source.
  • The Self-sufficiency Principle: The EU and its member states should remain self-sufficient with regard to the disposal of waste.

The key principles have been adopted in the Finnish waste legislation.

Order of priority steers waste management

Order of priority is a key principle of waste management.

  • The first priority is to prevent waste.
  • If waste cannot be prevented, it must be prepared for re-use.
  • If waste cannot be re-used, it is to be primarily recycled as material and secondarily recovered as energy.
  • Waste can be disposed at landfills only if recycling it is not technically or economically feasible.

More information

Riitta Levinen, Senior Environmental Adviser, The Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 295 250 162, firstname.lastname@ym.fi


Published 2013-08-26 at 15:20, updated 2020-10-01 at 14:41