Frequently asked questions
What is Palpa?
Palpa, Suomen Palautuspakkaus Oy, is a non-profit company that manages and develops return
systems of beverage packages. Palpa's goal is to make it easy to return beverage packages and
thus encourage Finns to return and recycle the material. This keeps the environment and nature
Where can beverage containers without a deposit be returned?
Cans that do not have a deposit can be returned to reverse vending machines or metal collection
points. Plastic bottles that do not have a deposit can be recycled by returning them primarily to a
plastic collection point or, in the absence thereof, as energy fraction or household waste. Glass
bottles without a deposit are delivered to a glass collection point. You can check the of recycling
points in your area here.
How to identify a beverage container with a deposit?
Cans, plastic bottles and some glass bottles have a deposit marking. Some glass bottles do not
have a deposit marking and they can be checked from the price tag on the shelf or the receipt or
by using the Check deposit tool. The deposit system is very extensive.
How should the beverage containers be returned?
Beverage containers must be returned empty and intact, in their original form and with the label
intact so that the packaging can be correctly identified.
Where can beverage containers with a deposit be returned?
Beverage containers connected to the return systems maintained by Palpa can be returned to all
retail reverse vending machines in Finland. All stores, kiosks and service stations that sell
containers with deposits to consumers are also obliged to accept the returns. The obligation to
take back empty containers applies regardless of whether there is a reverse vending machine at
the selling point or not.
Can a store require a consumer to buy products from the store against a return receipt?
According to the rules of return systems, the return location is obliged to pay a deposit to the consumer. The consumer is not obligated to buy anything with the deposit. The consumer is entitled to a refund of a container with a deposit that is intact, clean and easily identifiable as belonging to the system. In an unclear or unreasonable situation, it is advisable to make a complaint to the consumer service of the store or chain in question.
Does the beverage seller have to accept all beverage containers with a deposit? What about paying for the deposits?
The obligation to accept beverage packaging with deposits is defined in the Waste Act. When
selling packaging covered by the deposit system to consumers, the seller also has to accept it and
pay a deposit for it. The obligation is system-specific (can, plastic bottle, glass bottle). For example,
a retailer selling glass bottles with deposits has to accept glass bottles with deposits and pay for
them. The contents of the container at the point of sale (e.g., soft drink/beer) are irrelevant.
Can a store refuse to accept returns if the reverse vending machine is broken?
If the reverse vending machine is broken, the store is still obliged to accept empty beverage
containers with a deposit and pay for the deposits.
Who is responsible for the operation of the reverse vending machines?
The stores own the reverse vending machines and are responsible for their operation and
Why can't I get a deposit for bottles/cans bought abroad?
The deposit is only available for those beverage containers that are connected to Palpa's return
systems. The deposit is paid for those beverage containers for which a deposit has been paid to
the administrator of the return system in Finland.
Which of the current beverage containers is the most environmentally friendly?
All packaging options with a deposit have been developed taking the environment into
consideration and are all environmentally friendly. The most important thing is that the beverage
packaging is returned for recycling.
What happens to beverage containers after they are returned to the reverse vending machine?
You can learn more about the further processing and recycling of returned beverage packaging here.
Why don't all juice bottles have deposits?
Not all products are connected to beverage packaging return systems. Manufacturers and
importers of beverages may include products belonging to Chapter 22 of the Finnish Customs Tariff as well as concentrated and whole juice products in the return systems. Not all of the above
products are included in the return system, as their inclusion in the system is voluntary.
Why are there beverage containers with deposits for sale that cannot be returned to all reverse vending machines?
There are beverage packages with deposits on the market that are not connected to Palpa's return
systems. The Lidl retail chain has its own return system for recycling plastic bottles.
Why can't I return glass containers for baby food/pickles/cucumber to the reverse vending machine?
They are not part of the return system for beverage containers subject to a deposit. The various
glass containers can be recycled efficiently by delivering them to the nearest glass collection
Are there deposit-return schemes for other food packaging?
There are currently no deposit-return schemes for other retail food packaging.
Can the return system be abused? What happens if someone does that?
Unfortunately, there is a possibility of fraud, and in that case, it is always a crime that is handled as
a criminal case by the police.
How long can cans with the old deposit mark with an arrow be returned?
There is no deadline for redeeming a deposit from cans with the arrow deposit marking.
Who pays for the recycling of beverage containers?
Manufacturers and importers of beverage packaging pay a membership fee and packaging-specific
recycling fees for the membership of the return system. Payments received from members are
used to cover the cost of return systems. The costs of recycling beverage containers arise from
logistics (the transport of packaging at different stages of the recycling chain), compensation to
return locations and material handling, among others. Palpa maintains the system and is a non-