What does PALPA do?

PALPA manages and develops return systems for deposit beverage packages. The membership of a deposit-based return system offers beverage producers or importers an alternative to the beverage packaging tax. The return systems managed by PALPA also realize effective recycling of beverage package materials. PALPA is a non-profit company.

Who owns PALPA?

The ownership of Suomen Palautuspakkaus Oy is divided between franchising groups and the beverage industry. The owner companies are Oy Sinebrychoff Supply Company Ab, Hartwall Ltd, Olvi Oyj, Alko Inc, Ruokakesko Oy, Inex Partners Oy and Tuko Logistics Cooperative. The owners of PALPA Lasi Oy are Suomen Palautuspakkaus Oy, Altia Oyj, Cisa Oy, Fondberg Oy, Hartwa-Trade Oy Ab, Oy Gust. Ranin and the Finnish Microbreweries’ Association.

Who should become a member of PALPA's return system?

The question can be considered from both a financial and an environmental perspective. From a financial point of view, the profitability of joining a return system depends on the package material and the sales numbers, volume, and colour of the package. From an environmental point of view, a recycled package means one less package left in nature, and they provide valuable raw materials for reuse.

Is it mandatory to join a return system?

Adding a beverage package in a return system is optional. The decision is made by the manufacturer or importer of the beverages.

How much does it cost to take part in a return system?

When becoming a member of a recycling system, the company must pay a membership fee. A product registration fee is collected for each product added in the return system. Deposit and recycling fees are charged on the basis of the packages released on the market.

Can any product be added in the return system?

Products included in customs tariff 22 can be added to the deposit-based return system managed by PALPA. The Finnish Customs makes the decision on the customs tariff of a product.

Why does PALPA collect a recycling fee?

The recycling fee covers the expenses caused to PALPA for processing returned packages. A significant part of the expenses is the result of transporting the packages.

What types of requirements does the inclusion in a return system set for packages?

The package should be made of glass, PET plastic or aluminium and it should be marked with deposit and material markings. The size, quality and location of the barcode should be such that the reverse vending machines can read it.

How does the deposit circulate?

The manufacturer or importer of a beverage package pays the deposit to PALPA and receives it from the store in the price of the beverage package. The consumer pays the deposit of the beverage package in the store and receives it back when returning the empty package. PALPA pays the store for the deposit returned to the consumer. Therefore, the deposit money only circulates from one party to another.

The product has previously been imported by another party. How do I report that my company is now importing it?

If the importer of a product changes, PALPA should be informed of this. PALPA will ask for permission to transfer the product from the prevailing importer.

Should I re-register a product when the bottle model changes?

If it is a glass bottle, the product does not need to be re-registered. However, the manufacturer or importer of the product must deliver samples of the new bottles to both PALPA and the reverse vending machine vendors. If a plastic bottle or a can changes, the product must usually be re-registered with a new code. 

Does a new vintage of wine require re-registering the product?

If the barcode on the bottle changes as the vintage changes, the product must be re-registered in the return system as a new product. If only the vintage changes, the product does not need to be re-registered.

How quickly can I add a product in the return system?

Only the companies that are members of the return system can register products. A member of the return system fills in the product registration application in Extranet and delivers models of packages to PALPA and the machine vendors for approval. New products are updated in the reverse vending machines twice a month. Usually, the registration process of a product takes from 2 to 4 weeks.

Why must I send model bottles or cans?

The testing of model bottles and cans ensures that all the machine models of all machine vendors are able to handle the deposit packages returned by consumers without any problems.

Why are there specific requirements for the barcode on the package?

The barcode on the package must be sufficiently large and of good quality so that the machines are able to read it. On the basis of the barcode and the shape of the package, the machines separate deposit packages from other beverage packages, pay the deposit to the consumer and sort the packages into the correct container.

What to do when discontinuing the sales of a product?

The manufacturer or importer of the beverages marks a date of discontinuing a product’s sales in Extranet. However, the product remains in the identification file of the reverse vending machines, i.e. the consumer will still receive the deposit when returning the item.