An essential service for the citizen, now more than ever.

The corona crisis had a devastating impact on our lives and our economy. Many companies and activities were operating at lower capacities out of necessity. Yet some sectors have been operating at a higher intensity than ever before. The healthcare sector is at the centre of everyone’s thoughts, of course, but food companies and retailers have also been hard at work maintaining essential supplies.

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Over the past few months, our own systems have been operating at top speed too, demonstrating once again that our core activity – collecting and recycling household packaging – is also an essential service. We would like to offer a sincere thank-you to everyone involved at municipalities, intermunicipal companies, collection companies, sorting centres and recyclers for all their effort and hard work in this challenging period. We cannot stress enough that every link in the chain is indispensable in the circular economy.

In this activity report we are looking back on 2019, the first year of our new accreditation period. We have set a high bar for ourselves. In the next five years, we want to build a successful circular economy in our country, with an effective and sustainable solution for all household packaging.

Our 2019 results show that our efforts are bearing fruit.

“The current crisis has once again demonstrated that collecting and recycling household packaging is an essential service.”

The New Blue Bag has become a familiar sight for more than four million Belgians, who can now sort more waste packaging than ever before. They have clearly taken the new message to heart: last year we collected almost 6,000 tonnes of extra plastic packaging.

Our new approach to make selective collection available in out-of-home environments has been rewarded too: we achieved an increase of 2,000 tonnes of PMD packaging, and we are well on our way to meeting our targets.

“We have set a high bar for ourselves. Over the next five years we want to build a successful circular economy for packaging in Belgium.”

We have also laid the foundations for sustainable recycling of plastic packaging in Belgium. In 2019 construction began on three new sorting centres due to be fully operational by 2021. Initial project calls to develop new recycling capacity here were met with considerable interest in the sector. It is exactly this kind of investment that will be needed over the next few crucial years.

There is still a lot of work to be done, but we are not alone. In the past year, we have been setting up collaborative arrangements with a wide range of enterprises and organisations to achieve our ambitious objectives. We would like to thank everyone for their open mind, commitment and support and we hope many others will be following their example as we move forward in the coming years.

Patrick Laevers, Managing Director of Fost Plus Stephan Windels, Chairman of Fost Plus

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