How much household packaging is collected and recycled every year through the Fost Plus system? All the facts and figures.
The recycling of household packaging waste in Belgium:
Fost Plus recycled almost 724,000 tonnes of household packaging in 2018, with a recycling rate of 92.8 %. Both figures have increased compared to 2017. We recycle almost all the glass, paper-cardboard and metal packaging declared by members. For some materials, recycling rates are even higher than 100 %, since not all companies putting packaged products on the market are Fost Plus members, and Belgians also buy products in other countries. The recycling rate for plastic packaging is about 42 %. This percentage will increase significantly in the years ahead because of the expansion of PMD collection.
In 2018, we collected almost 98 kg PMD, paper-cardboard and glass per person. This figure includes materials collected door-to-door as well as from recycling parks and is not just for packaging materials: the paper-cardboard fraction also includes newspapers and magazines and other printed matter. The total quantities collected have gone down slightly compared with 2017. Paper-cardboard collection, in particular, has significantly decreased in recent years as a result of falling sales of newspapers and magazines. The quantities of glass declined slightly too. The amounts of PMD collected, however, continue to rise.
Food and beverage packaging accounts for the lion’s share of the packaging on the Belgian market, at 74 % of the total weight. Packaging for maintenance and hygiene products follow at a respectable distance. The service packaging category consists of packaging which is used at point-of-sale, such as pizza boxes, bread bags or meat packaging. All figures are based on the declarations of our members.
Fost Plus consciously strives to recycle close to home, limiting the environmental impact of transport and logistics. In 2018, more than 99 % of the materials we collect were recycled in Belgium or our neighbouring countries (France, Germany and the Netherlands). The rest is largely processed within Europe. Only a very small proportion (less than 100 tonnes) is processed outside Europe.
Glass and paper-cardboard are the most heavily represented in our members’ declarations. Together they account for more than half of the total weight of the packaging on the market. The largest contributions in euro are in the ‘other recoverables’ category, which includes plastic packaging not made from PET or HDPE. For these materials, the Green Dot rate is considerably higher.