A small deposit for plastic packaging waste could improve sorting habits in rural areas


  • Kari Laasasenaho Seinäjoen ammattikorkeakoulu
  • Jenni Savolainen LAG Kuudestaan
  • Anna Kirveslahti Seinäjoen ammattikorkeakoulu
  • Risto Lauhanen Seinäjoen ammattikorkeakoulu


kiertotalous, lajittelu, maaseutu, muovien kierrätys, pantti


There is an intent to increase the recycling rate of plastic waste in the European Union. Yet, the current actions have not been sufficient to achieve the recycling targets. Especially the most sparsely populated rural areas have been identified to be the most challenging area for waste management, as distances between households and recycling points are long. Consequently, more attention should be paid to the waste management methods of rural inhabitants. 

Previously, economic incentives have been identified as an important driver for better recycling habits. In the present study, a deposit-based recycling system for plastic packaging is introduced in a study area in rural Finland. Two deposit allocation systems were studied, where the deposits were allocated based on the returned plastic-mass or the number of specified plastic items returned. The results show that a small deposit can drive consumers to improve their sorting, and those respondents who had previously disposed plastic with mixed waste or incinerated plastic waste in domestic fireplaces improved their sorting habits. A mass-based deposit allocation system was favored over a piece-based deposit system. Implementing this practice would enhance consumer-based sorting, recycling, and refinability of plastic waste and enable rural areas to meet the recycling targets.





Laasasenaho, K., Savolainen, J., Kirveslahti, A., & Lauhanen, R. (2022). A small deposit for plastic packaging waste could improve sorting habits in rural areas. Alue ja Ympäristö, 51(1), 116–126. https://doi.org/10.30663/ay.107216