The Finnish Government is planning to launch a voluntary agreement to cut down on the country’s use of single-use plastic cups and certain food packets.

The Green Deal agreement aims to develop practical ways to fulfil the obligations set by the European Union (EU) to reduce the amount of plastic waste in the environment.

It is also intended to support the formation of solutions and business models that could reduce consumption.

Signatories to the agreement include the Environment Ministry, the Finnish Food and Drink Industries’ Federation, the Finnish Hospitality Association Mara, the Finnish Grocery Trade Association and the Finnish Packaging Association.

Under the EU Directive on plastic waste, member states must implement national measures to reduce their plastic waste output between now and 2026.

The Finnish green deal aims to achieve a sustained decline in the purchase of single-use cups and certain food packets made wholly or partly of plastic.

The government aims to ensure that the total amount of packets made partly of plastic, measured in tonnes, will be lower by 2026 than it currently is.

In addition, the plastic content of some products will be eliminated entirely.

Finnish Environment and Climate Change Minister Emma Kari said: “Reducing the use of single-use plastics has wide support from citizens and companies.

“It is great that these important sectors now strongly participate in the work to reduce the consumption of plastics.

“The agreement offers the keys to finding flexible and new solutions to respond to the plastics challenge.”

If the agreement lacks participation from businesses or its targets are not expected to be met, legislation to reduce plastic waste is likely to be introduced instead.

Earlier this month, Australia and Indonesia established a partnership to tackle plastic pollution in the Indo-Pacific region.