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.
Senior Adviser Sirje Stén, The Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 295 250 276, email@example.com