Recycled materials: only 6% are reused in Belgium

Recycled materials: only 6% are reused in Belgium
Belgium's recycling of synthetic materials has increased since 2006. Credit: Belga

The recycling of synthetic materials in Belgium has increased by 54% since 2006, but these recycled substances are not sufficiently used as raw materials in the production of new goods.

A study on this subject, conducted by Conversio on behalf of Agoria and Essenscia Federations, was presented on Thursday in Brussels to mark the Belgian Plastics Day (Agoria, Technical Industry; Essenscia, Life Science and Chemistry).

There are different kinds of synthetic materials, each with its own properties. More than half of the synthetic products on the Belgian market have a lifespan of 2 to 50 years, so some arrive too late in the recycling circuit: for example, insulation equipment, televisions, cars, refrigerators, shoes and garden furniture.

Last year in Belgium, 610 kilotons of synthetic waste were collected. This was made up of 57% packaging, 8% building material and 8% electronic devices.

One-third of this waste was recycled, marking an increase of 54% since 2006.

Anything that is not recyclable is incinerated and, where possible, the incineration contributes to energy.

Only 2% of synthetic waste is buried in Belgium, compared to 25% at the European level.

The study also revealed that only 6% of recycled synthetic materials are reused, mainly in construction (44%), packaging (28%) and agriculture.

"There is still a huge potential for synthetic materials within the circular economy," said Essenscia PolyMatters Director Saskia Walraedt.

Agoria and Essenscia Federations call for investment in new recycling and sorting techniques and request a revision of the legalities that hinder the use of recycled materials.

"Chemical recycling can be a solution to reduce incineration, improve recycling and increase re-use. In this process, polymers are again split into monomers, which can then be used as raw substance for new synthetic produce or in the chemical industry," Walraedt explained.

The Brussels Times


Latest News

Copyright © 2021 The Brussels Times. All Rights Reserved.