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Case 16.01.2023

Ab Rani Plast Oy: Long-term cooperation between the packaging company and Business Finland bears fruit in the optimization of recycled raw materials

Ab Rani Plast Oy, an international manufacturer of plastic products for industrial, agricultural, and food industry needs, has accelerated the development of circular economy solutions in cooperation with Business Finland.
Ab Rani Plast Oy
  • The family-owned company, which was founded in 1955 in Teerijärvi, Finland, manufactures plastic packaging materials for industrial, agricultural, and food industry needs.
  • Its products are exported to more than 50 countries, and exports account for about 70% of the company’s turnover.
  • Invests heavily in the development of renewable and circular economy products.
  • Employs around 350 people in Finland with a turnover of around EUR 239 million.
  • The Rani Plast group has nine factories in five countries with a turnover of EUR 293 million.

Business Finland’s Bio and Circular program promotes the internationalization of packaging companies. The program was completed at the end of 2022, but circular economy will be promoted in Business Finland’s other programs.

Explore Business Finland’s programs

The company has received funding from Business Finland for several of its projects. In 2019, for example, it received funding to accelerate the research and development of material flows and products of recycled raw materials. In 2022, the company also received EU Recovery and Resilience Facility funding through Business Finland's Bio and Circular Finland program.

The funding, which began in 2022, is partly provided by the European Union. It is a SPIRIT (Sustainable Plastics Industry Transformation) project for leading companies implemented as a partnership model through Co-Innovation funding. The goal is to develop knowledge-based solutions for recycling ecosystems, for example. In 2017, the company also participated in Business Finland's Kiito program for boosting international sales. The total value of the various types of funding is around EUR 1 million.

"For a company of our size, the resources made available through the programs are significant, and they have enabled us to increase our investments in research. Moreover, we would have implemented the results in our products at a considerably slower rate without the cooperation with Business Finland. In addition, we have investigated material flows of recycled raw materials and circular economy ecosystems that are essential for the renewal of our operations. Research and development has also begun to generate profit," says Mats Albäck, sustainability and development director at Ab Rani Plast Oy.

In addition, the company is carrying out a EUR 6 million regranulation line investment, which started in 2021 and was granted Recycling and reuse RRF funding.

"Among other things, we are using the funding to build a new recycling line for processing various kinds of plastic waste. It allows us to make optimal use of the recycling of production waste. In addition, we have installed solar panels on the roof of our production plant."

Circular Economy targets call for a significant change

The Teerijärvi-based company has participated in the projects of Business Finland and its predecessor Tekes since the 1990s. According to Albäck, the company's operations currently support circular economy targets set globally and at the EU level.

The strategy of our company is to increase the amount of recycled and renewable raw materials to 25%.

"The ambitious circular economy targets set by the EU call for significant leaps forward from the sector as a whole. They would not be possible without these kinds of cooperation programs and funding models. Our company's strategy is to increase the amount of recycled and renewable raw materials to 25% of our total raw material use by the beginning of 2024. And we are well on schedule here."

According to Albäck, the support and guidance provided by Business Finland's experts have also helped significantly when applying for the funding programs. Cooperation has been flexible from the start.
"Projects often involve changes in schedules or changes to the budget that no one can foresee at the outset. We have been able to discuss these and explore various solutions. I encourage all companies to explore the cooperation opportunities that publicly funded projects can offer."

According to Albäck, the development of the plastics industry has been a central part of the entire concept of sustainability, and Rani Plast has been actively interested in offering its customers responsibly produced packaging materials. He says that Business Finland's funding will also play a key role in achieving the EU's circular economy and sustainability goals.

Business Finland helps companies in their international growth

According to Business Finland’s Account Lead Ulf-Erik Widd, the position of Finnish companies in the international bio and circular economy markets is more significant than it should be in relation to its population and number of companies. Widd maintains that Finland’s success and continuous development would not be possible without proactive companies.

“We help out companies with a real willingness to grow. The international market is constantly evolving, and companies need to adapt to new EU regulations related to, for example, the packaging sector. Business Finland has a wide range of services that enable companies to address issues that they face,” says Widd.

Among other things, Business Finland is investing heavily in the development of the packaging industry’s circular economy where international growth expectations are high. Finnish companies already have broad international expertise in the circular economy. According to Widd, investing in this area of sustainability will make it possible to further strengthen the position of Finnish companies.

“Rani Plast is an excellent example of a company with circular economy solutions and development that could have a significant positive impact on the Finnish economy.

Business Finland funding services