4Recyling supporting activities to tackle plastic pollution in Finland

On the 2nd of March 2022, at the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) in Nairobi, the ministers of environment and head of states from 175 countries endorsed a resolution to End Plastic Pollution. UNEA is an event hosted by UN Environment programme which has participants from the various stakeholders of the 193 member states on the UN. The event aims to devise policies to tackle the global environmental challenges. The resolution paves the way for the development of a legally binding instrument with alternatives for addressing the entire lifecycle of plastics, enabling reusable and recyclable product design as well as creating international scientific and technical collaboration.

National Plastic roadmap is guiding the industry and research activities to move to circular economy 

At CLIC Innovation, we wholeheartedly support and applaud this landmark international resolution.  Plastic pollution is an endemic problem in Finland affecting land and water bodies. There have been several innovations to tackle plastic waste in Finland improving processes in recovery, recycling and handling. In Finland there is a need to recycle plastics in construction, demolition and agriculture.  The Ministry of Environment in Finland has published the national plastic roadmap strategy in 2018 for Finland pointing out the first steps towards a new, sustainable plastic economy. The Plastic roadmap focused on four areas of reducing, avoiding, recycling and replacing plastics.  Currently, the roadmap is being updated with concrete actions aiming for the year 2030

4Recycling ecosystem is tackling the plastic challenge 

At CLIC Innovation, we are working towards facilitating the creation of sustainable solutions. In our strategic research themes of bioeconomy and circular economy we are addressing the issue of plastic pollution and enabling the development of sustainable alternatives. Since 2020, we have enabled the operation of 4Recyling ecosystem funded by Business Finland for developing better recycling systems for plastics and bio-based material alternatives. During 2021 and 2022, we have developed the research development and innovation roadmaps to envision future developments for plastics recycling in the next decade. In addition, we have also organized a market shaping workshop for research and industry stakeholders to identify legal and market parameters to enable the transformation of the plastic industry. 

Results from ongoing projects 

In addition to the overall activities of this ecosystem, we have also achieved the following in BIOSWITCH and PLASTin projects. In BIOSWITCH, we have developed several tools for brand owners to support their transition from plastics to bio-based materials. These tools include BIOSWITCH self-assessment test, set of communication materials and BIOSWITCH Sustainability Assessment Tool. Read more from BIOSWITCH websiteThe ALL-IN for Plastics Recycling (PLASTin) project was established to support the plastic industry actors to develop systemic, and environmentally optimized recycling concepts. This is achieved with the new knowledge gained about recycling processes and technologies such as sorting, pre-treatment, mechanical and chemical treatment and reject handling, and about system-level understanding, allowing improved business opportunities based on recycling. Through this project we have ascertained that customer acceptance and regulatory aspects are the key drivers for realizing the opportunities. 

If you are interested in enabling a sustainable Finland through the development of better recycling systems and bio-based alternatives to plastics, come and join our 4Recycling ecosystem 


Sources for UNEP and UN news and articles regarding plastic resolution: