Fost Plus reported on Monday that it recycled some 698.000 tonnes of household packaging waste in 2017, achieving a recycling rate of 89.1%, up from 87.4% in 2016, and setting a European record. The recycling rate for PET (polyethylene terephthalate) waste increased significantly in recent years, moving up from 76.9% in 2012 to 87.7% in 2017. Income from the sale of the materials collected also went up in the same period, thanks to the economic recovery.
This is encouraging data for Fost Plus, which is the organization responsible for promoting, coordinating and financing the selective collecting, sorting and recycling of household packaging waste in Belgium.
The organisation nevertheless prefers to exercise caution because of China’s recent decision to stop importing certain types of waste. As a result, certain materials will be more abundant on the European market even if the impact for Belgium should be limited.
No less than 99% of household packaging waste is treated in Belgium or in a neighbouring country. To maintain its 1st-place position in recycling in Europe, Fost Plus last year rolled out a new five-pronged strategy based on: expanding the collection of PMCs; more sorting outside of the home; public cleanliness; the eco-concept; and jobs in local recycling markets.
The organisation also plans to adapt more to the new needs of citizens and public authorities and to enhance the circular market in Belgium. Its objectives include a 64% recycling rate for plastic packaging, which is largely above the European target of 55% by 2030.
“If Belgium is the European recycling champion, it’s not by chance,” says Fost Plus President Stephan Wimdels. “Our ambition today is a double one: we want to offer a recycling solution for every household wrapping on the market, and we wish to collect all wrappings where they are generated.”