(Tampere 16.1.2018) January 17th marks the one year anniversary of the launch of the first Finnish circular economy carrier bag, ESSI Circular Bag. What makes ESSI carrier bags special is that they are made to a significant extent from recycled plastic waste collected from households. K-Group was the first retailer in Finland to introduce ESSI carrier bags under its Pirkka brand name.

ESSI Circular Bags are manufactured at the Amerplast carrier bag factory in Tampere, Finland, and contain over 90 % of recycled plastic material out of which ca. 50 % derives from plastic waste collected from Finnish households. ESSI bags encourage further effectuation of the collection and recycling of consumer plastic waste so it is reused for the manufacture of new products, in line with the circular economy model.

"ESSI carrier bags are an excellent example of circular economy in action and the related cooperation required, covering not only industry and trade actors but also all those Finns that collect and recycle their plastic packaging and carry home their groceries in circular economy carrier bags", says  Amerplast CEO Børge Kvamme. "ESSI is the best option when comparing the carbon footprint of different carrier bags, as well as the use of water and land and non-renewable natural resources", Kvamme notes. "The positive response to ESSI is encouraging as we keep increasing the use of recycled plastics and renewable natural resources in our production and developing environmentally more sustainable packaging solutions."

Good end product applications for recycled materials are a key requirement for a working circular economy model.

"Grocery stores in particular play an important role in the success of circular economy applications in the market. K-Group wants to be actively involved in promoting a transition to the circular economy model, says Timo Jäske, Sustainability Manager K-Group's grocery trade. "K-Group seeks to introduce new sustainable alternatives that are also easily embraced by the customers. Pirkka ESSI Circular Bag is a great example of such a product".

Circular economy contributing to a sustainable future

In a circular economy materials are maintained for as long as possible so they can be reused again and again. Recycling and the efficient use of materials are critical for a sustainable future. A used plastic packaging is a valuable source of raw material that can be reused in the manufacture of new products, thus decreasing the need for virgin raw materials and the environmental burden.

The raw material for the Amerplast manufactured ESSI Circular Bags comes from the Fortum Circular Economy Village located in Riihimäki, Finland. There plastic packaging waste collected also from Finnish households is separated and processed to form top quality raw material for the plastic industry.  Consumer packaging in Finland is estimated to contain ca 70 000 tons of plastics annually. The producer association Finnish Plastics Recycling Ltd organizes nationally the separate collection of household plastic packaging waste, for example at Rinki eco-takeback points.

Download the product and production images of ESSI Circular Bag >> (

For more information:

Børge Kvamme
CEO, Amerplast
+35810 214 2275

Timo Jäske
Sustainability Manager, Kesko’s grocery trade
+35850 529 2028

Amerplast news:
Amerplast Media page:
Twitter: @amerplast
LinkedIn: Amerplast

About Amerplast

Amerplast, founded in 1952, is one of Europe's largest flexo printers and bag converters and a leader in innovative and sustainable packaging solutions, manufacturing high-performance flexible packaging for fast moving consumer goods for both food and non-food categories. The company plays a key role in consumer goods categories such as retail bags, bakery, fresh and frozen food, consumer tissue and personal care. With its AmerGreen program Amerplast is a forerunner in transforming the flexible packaging industry into an environmentally sound business. With manufacturing plants in Finland and Poland and sales offices in Sweden, Russia and Germany, Amerplast employs around 430 people and sells to customers in more than twenty five countries.

About Kesko

K-food retailers are responsible for customer satisfaction at K-food stores, and Kesko’s grocery trade works with these retailers under the chain business model. The K-food store chains are K-Citymarket, K-Supermarket, K-Market and Neste K. K-food stores are the world’s most sustainable companies in their sector. Further strengths include superior fresh food departments, professional service, diverse and high-quality selections, Finnish products and the own brand Pirkka.