Press release

The carbon footprint of Fortum Circo® recycled plastic is nearing zero, says study verified by VTT

05 July 2023, 13:00 EEST

Fortum-Circo-recycled plastic


A new carbon footprint study, executed by Etteplan and verified by VTT, is an update to the Lifecycle Assessment Study from 2019, which examined the environmental impact of Fortum Circo® plastic recyclate. The new assessment supports the aim of Fortum Recycling & Waste to report on their work towards a more carbon-neutral world.

Fortum Circo® is a series of plastic recyclates made from post-consumer plastic waste collected from Finnish consumers. The series comprises Fortum Circo LDPE, HDPE, and PP plastics. Different plastic grades have different uses – by adding for example cellulose fibre, the material becomes stiffer and tougher, which means it can be used in more technically demanding applications. The newly published study focused on the Fortum Circo basic grades as well as the different compounds.

The carbon footprint study was executed by Finnish service company Etteplan and the results are verified by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. The study calculated all carbon dioxide emissions from recycling all the way from the plastic packaging recycled by a consumer to its final stage as a finished plastic recyclate. Compared to the earlier study, Fortum’s plastic recycling has taken several leaps forward. The operations of the plastic refinery have been enhanced and new plastic materials have been added to the product portfolio.

The results of the new study show that the carbon footprint of the Fortum Circo® plastic recyclates has decreased significantly. Thanks to the enhanced production, the carbon footprint of the basic grades is now up to 70% smaller compared to virgin plastics. In 2019, the figure was 50%. When the biogenic net carbon that is bound into the material is taken into account, the carbon footprint of plastic compounds with cellulose fibre goes down to zero or even below that.

“One of our main goals is to keep raw materials in circulation. We want to develop materials with the technical properties to meet the most demanding applications. The Fortum Circo we have developed is our answer to that challenge. Finding new solutions and improving them is a constant process. Lifecycle assessments are an important part of our development work, and it was great to have a confirmation that our continuous product development is yielding the results we want,” says Mikko Koivuniemi, Business & Technology Development Manager, Fortum Recycling & Waste.

Fortum Oyj


Further information:

Kari Aaltonen, Product Line Specialist, Plastic Recycling, Fortum Recycling & Waste, +358 40 120 6815, kari [dot] aaltonen [at] fortum [dot] com

Anniina Rasmus, Brand Sales Manager, Fortum Circo®, Fortum Recycling & Waste, +358 40 081 5484, anniina [dot] rasmus [at] fortum [dot] com


Fortum Recycling & Waste
Fortum Recycling & Waste is rethinking recycling and leading the way towards a material revolution. Solving problems is in our DNA and our mission is to transform waste streams back to essential raw materials. Our role is to find solutions for our customers’ most challenging environmental waste problems, to save natural resources and support circular economy. Fortum Recycling & Waste has operations in the Nordics, the UK and Rwanda consisting of environmental waste management services, hazardous waste treatment and O&M expertise as well as material recycling services including solutions for batteries, plastics, metals, and ash and slag waste streams across Europe. 

Fortum is a Nordic energy company. Our purpose is to power a world where people, businesses and nature thrive together. We are one of the cleanest energy producers in Europe and our actions are guided by our ambitious environmental targets. We generate and deliver clean energy reliably and help industries to decarbonise their processes and grow. Our core operations in the Nordics comprise of efficient, CO2-free power generation as well as reliable supply of electricity and district heat to private and business customers. For our ~5 000 employees, we commit to be a safe, and inspiring workplace. Fortum's share is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.