Bottle Bill Resource Guide

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

Law Summary  Excise tax on one-way beer and soft-drink containers
Date Implemented 1996 (Cans) / 2008 (PET) / 2012 (Glass)
Containers Covered All non-refillable containers
Beverages Covered

Almost all soft drinks; water; beer; cider; long drinks; sport drinks; juice; liquor/spirits/wine sold by Alko

Fees & Taxes

Handling fee:

Manually accepted containers or RVM accepted containers without compaction: 

o Metal, plastic, glass: €0.027 (USD$0.030)

RVM accepted containers with compaction: 

o Metal, plastic, glass: €0.03 (USD$0.033)

Program Success

Success rate (2016):

Total return rate: 92%

Can: 96%
PET: 92%

Glass: 88%

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


Waste Management Act

Law Summary Exempts certain containers with refundable deposits from the tax
Date Implemented 1990
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

Beer and soft drinks

Amount of Deposit

Plastic < 0.5l: €0.10 (USD$0.11)

Plastic 0.5l - 1l:€0.20 (USD$0.22)

Plastic >1l: €0.40 (USD$0.45) 

Metal: €0.15 (USD$0.17)

Glass: €0.10 (USD$0.11)



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
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 own stores.