ESSI is the first Finnish circular bag, made at the Amerplast factory in Tampere of recycled plastic waste, collected to a significant extent from Finnish households. ESSI is the most favorable carrier bag alternative when it comes to CO2 emissions, the use of water and land and the consumption of non-renewable natural resources. At the grocery store cashier desks ESSI is the environmentally friendly choice. ESSI circular bags were launched in Finland and first available at K-Group stores in January 2017.
ESSI is made in Finland
ESSI circular bag is one of the first Finnish products manufactured from recycled plastics. ESSI bags are made at Amerplast’s carrier bag factory in Tampere and over 90 % from recycled plastic materials, collected to a significant extent from Finnish households.
Separate collection of Finnish consumer plastic packaging waste started in 2016 through RINKI eco take-back points. The valuable plastics collected are recycled and processed with the help of latest technology into CIRCO® high quality recycled plastics at Fortum’s (former Ekokem) Plastic Refinery in Riihimäki, and subsequently delivered to Amerplast as raw material. Read more about Amerplast and Ekokem cooperation >>
The use of ESSI circular bags encourages further collection and recycling of plastics. It is important that valuable raw material is collected and reused for the manufacture of new products so nothing goes to waste, in line with the circular economy model. An estimated 70 000 tonnes of plastic is used annually in consumer packaging in Finland. Amerplast and Ekokem have built a base for Finnish circular economy in plastics, and ESSI is a concrete example of this circular economy in action.
ESSI circular bags were launched and first available in K-group stores in January 2017. Read more about the launch>>
ESSI and the Environment
ESSI is carbon neutral, with a carbon footprint that is significantly smaller than that of other carrier bags. The use of recycled plastics reduces significantly the need for virgin raw materials and decreases greenhouse gas emissions.
The Finnish Environment Institute and the Technical University of Lappeenranta published in 2009 a comparative OptiKassi study examining the life cycle impacts of the shopping bags used by the Finnish retail sector, with an emphasis on greenhouse gas emissions. The study scrutinized five types of bags: plastic bags made from virgin raw material, bags made of recycled plastics, paper bags, cotton bags and biodegradable plastic bags. As a result, plastic bags made from recycled material appeared as the most favorable alternative. ESSI is environmentally even better as a minimum of 45 % of its raw material comes from recycled household plastic packaging waste, with another minimum of 45 % emanating from industrial sources.
It is always better to recycle plastic bags than to for example burn them as energy. When returned to Rinki’s Finnish eco take-back points, plastic bags are reused as raw material for new circular bags. ESSI can be reused at homes in many ways. As the final step in the reuse ESSI can serve as a garbage bag, reducing correspondingly the need for such separate bags.