Frequently asked

Questions and answers on the single-use plastics (SUP) directive

The single-use plastics directive (SUP) refers to the directive (2019/904/EU) aimed at reducing the environmental impact of certain plastic products. Although commonly referred to as the single-use plastics directive, it also covers products that are not strictly single-use. The purpose of the SUP directive is to promote the circular economy and simultaneously reduce the leakage of plastic waste into the environment, particularly in marine environments and coastlines.

The scope of the SUP directive covers:

  • certain single-use plastic products
  • all products made from oxo-degradable plastic
  • all fishing gear containing plastic.


The SUP directive includes various measures depending on the product category, such as product bans, labeling requirements, extended producer responsibility and consumer education obligations. Extended producer responsibility applies to certain single-use plastic products and plastic-containing fishing gear.

The SUP directive does not specify a minimum threshold for the amount of plastic in a product. Therefore, all products containing plastic, even in small quantities, fall within the scope of the directive.

The SUP directive has been implemented in Finland through the Waste Act and the respective product-specific regulations issued under it.

The producer responsibility according to the SUP directive applies to producers who professionally place on the market or sell directly to end-users via distance selling the following products:

  • certain single-use, ready-to-eat food packaging (single portion packs, flexible packaging and wrappers, beverage containers) as well as lightweight plastic bags
  • beverage cups sold empty to the end-user, along with their lids and caps
  • wet wipes intended for personal hygiene and consumer use
  • balloons intended for consumer use
  • filtered tobacco products and cigarette filters and
  • fishing gear containing plastic.

Term 'producer' includes the manufacturer, importer and distance seller of the product.

In the Waste Act, plastic refers to a material consisting of a polymer defined in the REACH regulation, to which additives or other substances may be added, and which is suitable as the main structural component of end products. However, the definition of plastic does not apply to natural polymers that have not undergone chemical modification.


The definition of plastic does not apply to paints, inks and adhesives. In this case, for example, a fishing gear made from a material other than plastic, but with a paint coating, would not be considered a fishing gear containing plastic if it does not otherwise contain plastic components.

In the Waste Act, a single-use plastic product refers to an item made entirely or partially of plastic which is not designed or marketed to withstand multiple uses throughout its life cycle in a way that it would be returned to the producer for refilling or reused for its original purpose.


Plastic-containing fishing gear within the scope of the SUP directive is not single-use, so the definition of a single-use plastic product does not apply to fishing gear.

According to the definition in the Waste Act, a fishing gear refers to an object or part of a device used in fishing or aquaculture for the capture or cultivation of living natural resources, or which floats on the water surface and is intended to attract, capture or cultivate aquatic living resources."


The definition of fishing gear excludes electrical and electronic devices belonging to the fishing gear.


Fishing gear waste refers to a fishing gear or its part that constitutes waste as defined in Section 5 of the Waste Act. Fishing gear waste includes, for example, lost and abandoned fishing gear.  


The producer responsibility applies to producers of plastic-containing fishing gear, including manufacturers, importers and distance sellers.

According to the Waste Act, a tobacco product refers to a tobacco product as defined in Section 2(1) of the Tobacco Act (549/2016). In tobacco legislation, a tobacco product is defined as a product suitable for consumption that consists wholly or partly of tobacco (Nicotiana).

Single-use tobacco products with filters containing plastic, as well as separate tobacco filters, fall under the producer responsibility for SUP products.

Various producer responsibilities have been stipulated for different SUP product producers depending on the product category. For producers of tobacco products, balloons and wet wipes, the Waste Act imposes what is known as cleaning cost responsibility. The cleaning cost responsibility is implemented in such a way that producers pay municipalities compensation for certain waste management and cleaning activities carried out in the public areas of municipalities. See more under the headings 'What does the cleaning cost responsibility mean for certain single-use plastic product producers?' and 'How is the producer responsibility fee for SUP products determined?'

The cleaning cost responsibility does not apply to producers of plastic-containing fishing gear; instead, they must arrange for the waste management of their discarded products and bear the associated costs. Specific requirements for organizing the reception of fishing gear waste are separately regulated by a decree. See more under the headings 'What does producer responsibility for fishing gear mean?' and 'How is the producer responsibility fee for fishing gear determined?'

The producer responsibility for tobacco products, balloons and wet wipes is based on the obligation of producers to compensate municipalities for the costs of preventing littering and cleaning up litter on public areas. The extent of the cleaning cost responsibility varies by product category, and the cleaning cost responsibility for different product categories enters into force gradually. In addition, producers of tobacco products must reimburse municipalities for the costs of acquiring collection containers for tobacco waste and for the expenses related to information and guidance on preventing littering caused by tobacco products organized by the municipality.

The cleaning cost responsibility came into effect for tobacco products and SUP packaging in 2023, with the first reimbursements to municipalities scheduled for 2024. The distribution of costs among different product categories is specified in a separate government decree. From 2023 to 2025, the total cost of municipal waste management and cleaning activities is based on a fixed amount of 4.79 € per inhabitant according to the government decree. The cost of litter prevention, i.e., waste collection in public collection systems, is 3.09 euros per inhabitant, and the cost of cleaning up litter from the ground is 1.70 euros per inhabitant. After the transitional period, municipalities report the actual incurred waste management and cleaning costs, and the share of each SUP product category in the costs is determined according to the distribution percentages specified in the decree.

In addition, starting from the year 2023, producers of tobacco products are obligated to reimburse municipalities for the actual costs incurred from the acquisition of cigarette waste bins and for the actual costs related to guidance on preventing litter from tobacco products and the waste generated from them. These costs are not included in the fixed cost basis during the transition period.

The ELY Centre of Pirkanmaa will make a decision regarding the future reimbursements from producers to municipalities. The decision will specify the compensation for each producer community and producer by product category, along with the amount of compensation to be paid to each municipality.

The producer responsibility for fishing gear containing plastic follows the so-called traditional producer responsibility. This means that producers of fishing gear are responsible for organizing the waste management of discarded products and covering the associated costs.

The Government Decree stipulates different separate collection network requirements based on the type of fishing gear. According to the decree, a network of at least 150 fixed collection points must be provided for stationary and other trap-type gears, which can be partially replaced by movable collection points, pick-up services or other equivalent collection arrangements. There is no fixed separate collection point requirement for angling gear, allowing for a more flexible and, if necessary, seasonal implementation of separate collection. Similarly, there is no fixed collection network requirement for aquaculture gear, and it can be implemented, for example, as a service between businesses.

The majority of the producer responsibility fee for certain single-use plastic (SUP) products consists of compensation paid to municipalities, covering the costs of waste management and cleaning activities on public areas caused by SUP products. The costs are allocated on a product-category basis according to distribution percentages specified in the decree for different SUP products. Producer communities determine the amount of SUP fees annually, and the allocation of fees to individual producers is based on the quantities of products introduced to the market by each producer.

The producer responsibility fee for fishing gear covers the costs associated with building and maintaining a separate collection network and other expenses related to fulfilling legal producer responsibility obligations. The producer responsibility fee for fishing gear producers is determined based on whether the products are aquaculture gear, trap-type gear or related to angling.

Authorities do not determine or decide on the amount of producer responsibility fees; instead, these fees are decided by a producer community established and maintained by the producers themselves. The law requires that the producer community is non-profit, and the responsibility allocated to its members is distributed fairly, considering the nature and scope of their activities. In practice, this means that, for example, a company manufacturing or importing only lures or products other than trap-type gear is not required to fund the costs of a collection network specifically designed for trap-type gear.

Yes, they are. If a fisherman independently acquires fishing gear from another country and brings it to Finland, the fisherman is generally considered the one introducing the products to the market and thus a producer, provided that the activity is professional. In practice, this is assessed through the obligation to pay VAT. If the operator is not liable for VAT, the activity is not considered professional.

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