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Wednesday's papers: Recycle overflow, drug abuse and shooting geese

What happens when Finland’s biggest buyer of recycled paper shuts down?

Valkoposkihanhia.
Farmers in Finland have sought millions in damages for devastation caused by protected barnacle geese. Image: Hanna Terävä / Yle

Finland could see an overabundance of recycled paper following the closure of UPM’s Kaipola paper mill in Jämsä, reports Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet.

The plant buys over half of the country’s recycled paper and is the only facility in Finland which manufactures newsprint paper, according to the paper.

By law, paper producers are responsible for ensuring that 75 percent of their products are recycled--regardless of whether or not demand exists for such products. This means producers may have to seek new buyers abroad.

"Recycled paper fetches about 100 euros per tonne, but with Finland being so far up north, logistics costs are high, running 60-70 euros per tonne," said Merja Helander of paper producer organisation Suomen Keräystuote.

Referring to the loss of some 450 jobs at Kaipola, business daily Kauppalehti meanwhile writes that the Finnish shipyard industry will be the "next Kaipola" as 10 of the 22 companies operating in the field have either started or plan to commence layoff talks.

Substance abuse exacerbated by Covid

Drug abuse in Finland has risen in Finland during the coronavirus crisis while it declined in other EU states, reports daily Helsingin Sanomat, citing a report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

Drug overdose deaths have been rising in Finland for years, according to health agency THL.

The national daily suggests that the trend may have worsened during the pandemic for reasons such as isolation when many public facilities closed to prevent the spread of the virus. In Finland addicts usually visit clinics daily to receive replacement therapies but during the shutdown, dispensaries began issuing weekly doses, causing some of these drugs to end up on the street.

Goose cull?

An agriculture ministry working group tasked with dealing with Finland’s protected barnacle geese problem encourages farmers to seek permits to shoot the waterfowl, reports agricultural newspaper Maaseudun tulevaisuus.

Barnacle geese are known to damage farmlands and crops by eating planted seeds when they are unable to find enough of their primary food source, grass. This year, farmers have made claims for damage caused by the waterfowl totalling some 2.7 million euros at local Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres).

The paper reports that the ministry's working group also recommended setting up special feeding areas for the protected birds to help prevent devastation to farmers' fields, according to MT.

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