Last year, 2.2 billion deposit bottles and cans were returned in Finland, breaking the previous record by a small margin. However, the return rate for plastic bottles has been declining in recent years, and the reasons for this are not yet known. According to Palpa, the organization responsible for managing the recycling of deposit bottles, the return rate for plastic bottles has fallen slightly, with a current rate of 90%.

The highest return rates were for cans and glass bottles, at 99% and 98% respectively. Although the return rate for plastic bottles is still good, it is important to take steps to improve it, and Palpa encourages consumers to return plastic bottles more frequently.

One possible explanation for the decline in the return rate for plastic bottles is that some are being recycled in other ways, such as by being placed in the recycling bins of apartment buildings. In addition, some bottles may not be returned because the label on the barcode has come off. Despite these factors, Palpa has called for a renewed effort to encourage consumers to return plastic bottles.

It is worth noting that Finnish consumers are already relatively diligent in returning deposit bottles and cans. According to Palpa, the average Finnish consumer returns around 400 deposit bottles and cans per year. The deposit system for beverage packaging in Finland is one example of a successful recycling program. There are currently 4,000 return points for consumers, and the closed loop system ensures that materials can be recycled indefinitely.

Recycling beverage packaging can save a considerable amount of energy and natural resources. Last year, 19,800 tonnes of aluminum, 16,800 tonnes of plastic, and 52,300 tonnes of glass were returned to the system, which can be reused for new packaging. Palpa's goal is to encourage consumers to recycle as many beverage containers as possible, and they are reminding consumers that every container is important in the effort to conserve resources. The fact that the return rates for cans and glass bottles are high demonstrates that the deposit system is effective, and with a renewed effort, the return rate for plastic bottles can be increased as well.