The circle is complete

Efficient baseline scenarios and high-performance processes and systems make it easy for everyone to contribute to a circular packaging economy. In every step, we seize opportunities to improve our co-operation, to optimize processes and to increase flows.

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Improving recycling at source

The industry and its sector federations have made a commitment to significantly increase the recyclability of household packaging. By 2025, all packaging on the market must be 100 % recyclable, reusable, biodegradable or compostable. Fost Plus is helping them to achieve this commitment. In 2019 we launched a large-scale benchmark exercise where we compare the recyclability of packaging within specific product categories or sectors based on the declarations submitted by our members.

The results are discussed with the companies concerned and have already led to various new and more easily recyclable forms of packaging. Coca-Cola, for example, is developing a new, recyclable packaging for its Capri-Sun lemonade, turning more than 200 tonnes of packaging a year into recyclable materials. Colgate-Palmolive is systematically removing the aluminium inner layer from all toothpaste packaging because it complicates recycling. Unilever has developed new packaging for its Knorr pasta dishes, ensuring 60 tonnes of packaging a year become recyclable. In 2020 we are initiating a second benchmark, in which we will assess the recyclability of the packaging that is marketed by our thirty largest members.

Green Dot drives companies in the right direction

The principles behind the Green Dot are driving companies towards packaging that is more easily recyclable. The calculation of the rates they pay for their packaging is now based entirely on activity-based costing. This means that we take into account the actual costs and revenues for each material, ensuring the rates for each packaging reflect the real deficit in the circular chain. Simply put: the higher the recyclabilty, the lower the rate. We discourage packaging and materials that cannot be recycled or valorised, by applying a higher rate. With the arrival of the New Blue Bag, and depending on new recycling possibilities, future rates will be further broken down and finetuned for various materials.

A consistent system across Belgium

Door-to-door collection has been a key factor in the success of selective collection in Belgium. It makes it easy for every citizen to participate and contribute to a better environment. With the New Blue Bag, sorting has become even simpler. A lot of the packaging people used to be hesitant about, such as yoghurt pots or butter tubs, can now go straight in the same bag. The system is also consistent across the entire nation: the same sorting rules will apply everywhere. This is a major advantage for post-processing, since there will be sufficient volumes on the market with consistent quality. We need this if we want to develop a sustainable and stable recycling system in Belgium.

Investing in efficient systems

Fost Plus continues to invest heavily in the renewal of its systems. In 2019, for example, we launched a completely revamped MyFost application which allows intermunicipal companies, municipalities, collection companies, sorting centres and recyclers to consult and monitor their data. The all-new system was developed in cooperation with all the stakeholders and makes the data easily and transparently accessible. A new declaration system for members is scheduled to be ready by 2021. It will integrate the declaration of small hazardous waste packaging and additional packaging from the New Blue Bag. In 2019, we introduced a simplified declaration for e-commerce companies allowing us to recruit many new members from this rapidly growing sector.

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