Espoo takes the lead in the Closed Plastic Circle project

Published: 27.7.2021 9.49

Although plastic packaging recycling has increased, the national recycling rate target of 50% by 2025 is still far away. In addition, plastic other than packaging plastic is still poorly recycled. Since 2018, ambitious cooperation has been carried out to improve the recycling of plastics, led by the Helsinki Metropolitan Smart & Clean Foundation. The Foundation’s operations ended as planned at the end of June 2021, and the Closed Plastic Circle project will continue under Espoo’s leadership. Participants include the City of Helsinki, HSY, VTTT, Fortum, Lassila & Tikanoja and Siemens.

The Closed Plastic Circle project aims to increase plastic recycling in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area to 60–70% in the future, instead of the current 6%. More than half of the measures taken so far(extrernal link) have focused on the collection, sorting and recycling phase of plastics. In order to achieve the goal, measures are needed at all stages of the circulation, including product design, production and use.

The City of Espoo aims to increase the recycling of plastics, particularly in schools, homes and construction sites. Concrete measures include the school waste management plan and the ‘Story of plastic’ virtual exhibition as part of the Story of Plastic project(extrernal link) to be launched in the autumn and engineering study completed under the Kieppi project(extrernal link) in the spring to explore concrete measures through which cities can promote plastic recycling in their construction procurement process. Leadership and cooperation in the Closed Plastic Circle project enable extending the scope. Currently, a plan is being prepared to describe the most essential, urgent and effective measures as a pathway to systemic change with regard to the recycling of plastic.

The picture shows granules made from plastic waste, which are used to make new products.
  • Sustainability