Bottle Bill Resource Guide

Finland has two laws dealing with beverage container recycling. One levies a tax on non-refillable containers, and one offers a refundable deposit as an alternative to the tax.

Waste Management Act (646/2011)

Law Summary Exempts certain containers with refundable deposits from the tax
Date Implemented 1996 (Cans) / 2008 (PET) / 2012 (Glass)
Containers Covered Exempts containers which: (1) carry a deposit; (2) attain high return rates (75% for the first year, reaching 95% the fourth year of operation) and (3) are recycled
Beverages Covered
  • Carbonated soft drinks
  • Water
  • Beer
  • Cider
  • Long drinks
  • Sport drinks
  • Juice
  • Liquor/spirits/wine sold by Alko
Amount of Deposit
  • Plastics < 0.5 L: €0.10
  • Plastics between 0.5 L - 1 L:€0.20
  • Plastic >1 L: €0.40
  • Metal: €0.15
  • Glass: €0.10
Handling Fee [1]

Manually accepted containers or RVM accepted containers without compaction: 

  • Metal, plastic, glass: €0.01974

RVM accepted containers with compaction: 

  • Metal: €0.02347
  • Glass: €0.01974
  • Plastic: €0.02901
Program Success
  2016 [2]
2019 [3]
2020 [4]
2021 [5]
Cans 96% 97% 98% 97%
PET 92% 90% 92% 90%
Glass 88% 99% 95% 98%

Refillables comprise the following portions of market share:
Beer: 95%
Soft Drinks: 99%
Wine/Liquor: a major percentage


Alternative Excise Tax (2037/2004)

Law Summary  Excise tax on one-way beer and soft-drink containers
Date Implemented 1994
Containers Covered All non-refillable containers
Beverages Covered
  • Carbonated soft drinks
  • Beer
Tax Amount



Finland operates a voluntary deposit scheme that acts as an alternative to the government's Beverage Packaging Tax, which levies €0.51 per liter. The scheme is operated by the non-profit company, Palpa, Suomen Palautuspakkaus Oy. [5] In addition to the three characteristics of a beverage container to be exempt from a tax (carrying a deposit, attaining high return rates, and being recycled), a beverage container may also not be exempted unless it and its manufacturer meet the following requirements:

  • There must be a sufficient number of collection points,
  • The producer or importer must file reports to the Ministry of Environment on the management of the system and on return rates, and
  • One-way containers should not weaken the refillable bottle infrastructure.

Grocery store chain Lidl does not participate in Finland's deposit system, with Lidl bottles only redeemable at their stores through its own deposit program. [6]



[1] "Global Deposit Book 2022: An Overview of Deposit Systems for One-Way Beverage Containers." Reloop Inc. December 15, 2020.

[2] "Ensuring That Polluters Pay: Finland." Publications Office of the European Union, 2021.

[3] "Deposit-based return system: Return Rates." SUOMEN PALAUTUSPAKKAUS OY (PALPA). Last Accessed March 2023.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] "Frequently Asked Questions." SUOMEN PALAUTUSPAKKAUS OY (PALPA). Last Accessed March 2023.

[7] Ibid.


Last updated on April 3, 2023.