Return me!

Return me!
The Association of Finnish Alcoholic Beverage Suppliers
2019 > Ongoing
#C02Emissions #Packaging


Altia is committed to reduce the carbon footprint of its packages by 35% by 2030. To this aim, Altia is committed to a fully recyclable packaging by 2025, which means working on the development of more responsible forms of packaging, such as PET plastic bottles, bag-in-box containers and lighter glass bottles. However, it is crucial to increase the return rates of both the PET bottles and box packages in the home markets with the help of consumer campaigns. 


In the summer of 2019, Altia carried out its first responsibility campaign aimed directly at consumers. The campaign was built around bottle recycling. The circular economy lies at the core of Altia’s responsibility and sustainability programme, and the circulation of PET plastic bottles is an important part of it. When returned, a PET bottle is one of the most ecological packaging alternatives for liquids, thanks to its recyclability and low carbon footprint.

The return rates for PET plastic bottles in the Nordic countries are among the highest in the world – 83% in Sweden and 90% in Finland. But when looking at small PET bottles (hip flasks size), the return rates are markedly lower – only around half the bottles are returned. Every tenth bottle ends up somewhere other than a deposit machine. All in all, this means millions of small bottles a year.

Small bottles often end up in garbage bins instead of deposit machine: 

  • According to a survey conducted by Altia, the reason for the lower return rates for small flask-type bottles is that they tend to be used on the road. The small and handy PET bottles are easy to carry to events, picnics, pre-parties, in golf bags, on skiing trips or to holiday homes, after which they often end up in conventional garbage bins.
  • Summer involves a lot of outdoor eating and drinking, so the campaign was timed to be in full in june-july 2019. The multi-channel campaign included digital outdoor advertising, social media contents, the “A bottle’s journey” campaign page and a press release. A “Return me!” label was also added to Altia’s best-selling small bottles during the campaign.

Packaging materials have a big impact on carbon footprints. For example, the carbon footprint of Koskenkorva Vodka packaged in a glass bottle is 2.19 kg CO2e/litre, while that of Koskenkorva Vodka packaged in a PET plastic bottle is 1.60 kg CO2e/litre.

The carbon footprint of Koskenkorva Vodka packaged in a recyclable PET plastic bottle is approximately 27% smaller than that of the product packaged in a glass bottle. The package accounts for 43% of the product’s entire carbon footprint in terms of a glass bottle and 24% in terms of a PET bottle. 




The campaign reached the buyers of small bottles successfully, and the return rate for Altia’s flask-size PET bottles rose by 8% in June–August on average compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. 

In packaging terms, Altia’s new Sustainability Roadmap 2030 aims to improve the return rates for beverage packages by continuing the consumer campaigns in the company’s home markets.



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