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Ragn-Sells supporting proposed waste reform

While one of Estonia’s largest waste management companies, Eesti Keskkonnateenused, has been critical of the proposed waste reform, their competitor Ragn-Sells is not, affirming that the goal of the reform is to reduce the amount of mixed municipal waste in Estonia and to decrease its incineration in the Iru power plant.

The Climate Ministry announced on March 19 the intention to draft amendments to the Waste Act, the Packaging Act, and other laws, which would increase the volume of materials taken into recycling, creating conditions for new industries and investments in Estonia.

Kai Realo, CEO of Ragn-Sells, acknowledged that since the Climate Ministry made public the intention to draft the waste reform last week, there have been strong arguments for and against the planned changes, and even some scaremongering about how this plan will be burdensome for everyone.

“Hundreds of thousands of tons of material contained in mixed municipal waste can actually be reused. Despite public recycling bins, a large portion of valuable plastic, glass, and metal packaging unfortunately ends up as mixed waste, and due to incineration, a large amount of recyclable material is wasted,” she explained.

The planned changes will make waste sorting more convenient and simpler for residents, as various types of waste can be disposed of closer to home in the future.

The CEO of Ragn-Sells said that the company has been dealing with the sorting of packaging waste and several other types of waste for years.

“Sorted, uniform, and high-quality batches of material have a functioning market, and all such processed materials go on to be recycled, where they are turned back into raw materials for industries. The Ragn-Sells group sells hundreds of thousands of tons of material annually worldwide — plastic, film, paper, cardboard, metal, and glass are reused,” she said.

Realo noted that the goal of the waste reform is to reduce the amount of mixed municipal waste in Estonia and also its incineration in the Iru power plant.

“The reason some waste carriers see a problem in the new situation is that waste incineration has been the simplest and most financially favorable option,” she explained.

“Eesti Keskkonnateenused is among the largest carriers of mixed municipal waste in Estonia, and most of it ends up in the Iru waste-to-energy plant. In a situation where waste incineration becomes more expensive and recycling of packaging is preferred, it’s understandable that the waste reform will limit the business of Eesti Keskkonnateenused,” Realo said.

“The goal of Ragn-Sells is to support the circular economy, and for this purpose, we have created sorting for various types of waste, increasing the recovery of valuable materials and directing it back into circulation as secondary raw material,” the Ragn-Sells CEO said.

“Perhaps partly because waste sorting and the recycling of sorted materials are not very common in Estonia yet, we don’t have the corresponding industry that would turn collected materials back into raw materials,” Realo noted, adding that for instance, the majority of plastics collected in Estonia, as well as in Scandinavia and Germany, is transported to Lithuania, where this industry is more developed.

Ragn-Sells is a leading waste management and circular economy company in the Nordic countries, aiming to become a climate-positive enterprise by 2030 and to lead society’s transition to a circular economy.

Source: BNS

(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)


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