CIRCWASTE - LIFE IP on waste - towards circular economy in Finland

LIFE15 IPE/FI/000004

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Contact details:

Contact person: Tuuli MYLLYMAA
Email: tuuli.myllymaa@ymparisto.fi

Project description:


The National Waste Plan of Finland (NWP) aims to tackle environmental issues related to raw material consumption, the climate impacts of waste management, hazardous substances in waste, and the amount of landfilled waste. Material consumption is related to interference with nutrient cycles, the scarcity of many materials, the impact on land use patterns, the impact on the use of water, and emissions into the air, water and land. Waste generation results directly in emissions into water, air and land. In Finland the NWP includes both the Waste Management Plans as required by article 28 and the Waste Prevention Programmes as requested by article 29 of the Waste Framework Directive 2008/98. The Ministry of the Environment is the national authority in charge of compiling and monitoring the implementation of the NWP in Finland. The current NWP for the period 2017-2022 is currently being updated, and until the completion of the updated NWP the previous waste plan is still in force.


The aim of the LIFE IP CIRCWASTE-FINLAND project is to implement the National Waste Plan of Finland (NWP). The project will help with the implementation of the current NWP as well as optimise the implementation of the next NWP for 2017–2022 in order to help keep materials circulating in the economy for a longer time. It has been designed to respond to the bottlenecks currently being experienced and the future challenges in waste legislation and the waste management business – e.g. The Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe (COM(2011)571) and the Circular Economy Package (COM(2014)398). In particular, the project will initiate a transitional change towards a circular economy.

The LIFE IP CIRCWASTE-FINLAND project will increase capacity building and enhanced cooperation within the waste management sector. It will redesign municipal/industrial systems, prevent generation of waste, and encourage use of by-products and waste. The IP covers five regions in Finland: Satakunta, Southwest Finland, Central Finland, the North Karelia region and the South Karelia region.

The specific objectives of the project are to:

  • Decrease the amounts of municipal solid waste and meet the recycling targets;
  • Increase the recycling of construction and demolition waste;
  • Improve material efficiency and waste prevention in production, industry and trade;
  • Increase the use of mineral waste and industrial by-products;
  • Improve the reduction and recovery of hazardous waste;
  • Generate new information on potential circular economy actions, priority sectors, material flows and value chains in each case study regions; and
  • Use the information generated during the project in order to create new system level changes in waste management.
  • In addition to the IP budget itself the project will facilitate the coordinated use of €9 411 355 complementary funding from EAFRD, ERDF, national and private funds.


    Expected measurable results: The LIFE IP CIRCWASTE-FINLAND project will reach the waste management targets in the NWP in the chosen regions, including expected EU targets related to the reuse and recycling of municipal waste; landfilling of recyclable plastics, metals, glass, paper and cardboard, and biodegradable waste; recycling of phosphorus and development of markets for high quality secondary raw materials. Specific results include:

    • Increased regional recycling rates for industrial waste by 5% and decreased landfilling of industrial waste by 10% during the project;
    • Reduced MSW by 20%, an increase by 20% in composting in private homes and improvement of waste sorting by 10%;
    • New awareness raising tools and improved habits of citizens related to waste prevention and sorting;
    • Increased recycling rate of construction and demolition waste by up to 70% at the construction sites and areas taking part;
    • Development of business models that are highly applicable all over Finland;
    • Reduced food waste in participating canteens by 10-20% by 2019 and in buffet serving by 30% (by increasing food donations in the participating canteens); reduced edible food waste in the studied case-products by 10-20% by 2019;
    • Around 5% of the virgin material used in earthworks by 2020 replaced by recycled waste from industry and mineral extraction (i.e. recycled soil, sediments and various types of mineral waste and rare metals);
    • Increase recycling rate of soil to 30% and other masses to 80% as a result of the planned soil recycling park. Around 1 000 000 m3 of poor quality soft soils will be re-used instead of landfilled, resulting in a 70% saving in the use of the virgin materials;
    • Use of recycled fertilisers to replace mineral nitrogen fertilisers at farms in southwest Finland.

    • Top

Environmental issues addressed:


Environmental management - Circular economy and Value chains
Waste - Waste reduction - Raw material saving


resource conservation‚  consumer information‚  waste management‚  waste recycling‚  plastic

Target EU Legislation

  • Waste
  • Directive 2008/98 - Waste and repealing certain Directives (Waste Framework Directive) (19.11.200 ...
  • COM(2015)614 - "Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy" (02.12.2015)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Finnish Environment Institute SYKE (Suomen ympristkeskus)
Type of organisation Research institution
Description SYKE is a centre for environmental expertise and a research institute. SYKE has a long experience in studying the use of natural resources in an ecologically, economically and socially sustainable way. SYKE is part of Finland's national environmental administration, mainly operating under the auspices of the Ministry of the Environment.
Partners Puhas Oy, Finland Wirma Lappeenranta Ltd, Finland Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland Kompotek Oy, Finland Regional Council of Central Finland City of Jyväskylä, Finland Central Finland Health Care District PIKES Ltd, Finland Motiva Ltd, Finland Ramboll Ltd, Finland City of Pori, Finland Kiertomaa Oy, Finland Luke, Finland Regional Council of Southwest Finland Turku University of Applied Sciences, Finland GS1 Finland Ltd Regional Council of North Karelia, Finland Joensuu Science Park Ltd, Finland Karelia University of Applied Sciences, Finland


Project reference LIFE15 IPE/FI/000004
Duration 01-OCT-2016 to 31-DEC -2023
Total budget 18,521,507.00 €
EU contribution 11,112,904.00 €
Project location Baltic Sea Suomi (SF)(Finland Suomi)


Read more:

Leaflet "Circwaste: Finland towards circular economy" (989 ...
Leaflet "Circwaste: Towards circular economy" (989 KB)
Project web site Project's website (in English)
Project web site Project's website (in Finnish)
Project web site - 2 Project's Twitter page
Publication: Case study "Circwaste: Towards Circular Economy: Nearly 20 Pi ...
Slides Presentation "CIRCWASTE: Towards Circular Economy in Finland" ( ...
Video link Kiertotalouden edelläkävijäkaupungit – Circwaste - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7gpUkWETik
Video link "Kohti kiertotaloutta - Circwaste" (short video of the project on Youtube) (1:36)


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version