If Finns recycled, say, half of their waste, it would create over 10,000 new jobs

In lobbying activities, the focus of L&T is on the creation of legislation and steering instruments that promote the circular economy. We believe that a circular economy and a more efficient use of resources creates new growth and new jobs while improving Europe’s competitiveness.

In a circular economy, no waste is generated and the recyclability of materials is taken into consideration in product design. Waste incineration or landfills are the last resorts of waste management.
In a circular economy, physical, owned products are replaced with different services such as renting and borrowing. Properties are also designed and constructed so that they have a long usage life and that they are sustainable, energy efficient, and transformable.

 

MEASURES TO INCREASE RECYCLING URGENTLY NEEDED IN FINLAND

The objective of the European Commission is to promote a circular economy and the recycling of waste in its member states. In the circular economy information package published by the Commission in December 2015, the EU proposes increasing the recycling rate of municipal waste gradually to 65% and that of packaging waste to 70% over the next 15 years.

To meet these objectives, Finland must quickly identify ways to drastically increase recycling. The recycling rate of waste has not improved as expected in Finland, and waste has been directed from landfills to incineration. According to the most recent waste statistics, the recycling rate was only 32.5% in 2014. The target has remained at the same level throughout the 2000s.
 
In practice, reaching the recycling objectives set by the EU means that Finland must double its waste recycling rate by 2030. According to our view, this means that the extensive exclusive rights of municipalities on waste must be dismantled and the consumers' freedom of choice must be increased. Sorting and recycling waste must be made as easy and effortless as possible, the incineration of waste must be limited, and recycling should be encouraged with directive measures.

CIRCULAR ECONOMY CREATES SUSTAINABLE GROWTH AND JOBS

The European Commission estimates that a circular economy would help European businesses to achieve substantial savings and create more than half a million new jobs, while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. According to an estimate of Sitra, the annual financial benefits of a circular economy in Finland might even reach 2.5 billion by 2030.
The government of Finland has also selected a circular economy as one of their top projects, striving for the position of a trailblazer and aiming at creating sustainable growth and new jobs.
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