In 2020, we stayed at home on a huge scale. Nevertheless, Fost Plus continued unabated with its efforts to promote sorting outside the home. Because there is still a great deal to do to get Belgians to sort when they are out and about, as well.

Challenge and opportunity

Out-of-home consumption has increased sharply in the past few years. We are all spending more time away from home – at work, on holiday, at events, etc. So out-of-home sorting offers a great opportunity to collect the growing quantity of packaging found there for recycling. Packaging which, at the moment, still gets lost in the residual waste or – worse still – ends up as litter.

Fost Plus has set itself ambitious targets. By 2023, we aim to virtually double the quantity of PMD that we collect outside the home. In other words, out-of-home sorting needs to become the new normal. To achieve this, we want to extrapolate the success factors of the door-to-door collection – efficiency and convenience – and integrate them into a new environment. Because there is no reason whatsoever why sorting should not be as easy outside the home as it is inside.

2020 – a strange year in many ways

The coronavirus crisis put an abrupt stop to the growing out-of-home consumption in 2020. People travelled less, we worked at home on a huge scale, festivals were cancelled, amusement parks and stadiums closed. Of course, it was very hard for the sectors affected. But it also put a number of our own out-of-home sorting projects on hold. Cooperation with the festival sector and the Pro-League was temporarily stopped and collections from companies fell back sharply.

Goals achieved

Despite these difficult circumstances, Fost Plus achieved its goals for 2020 to collect an additional 3,000 tonnes of PMD outside the home. So we remain on track to double the quantity of PMD collected out of home by 2023. In 2020 we focused among other things on the post-sorting of mixed industrial waste in cooperation with private collection companies. The results illustrate once again the potential for better collection from companies.

Out-of-home PMD collection

Perfectly on track towards our goal for 2023

Goal achieved despite difficult circumstances

The corona crisis had a major impact on our consumption patterns. Nevertheless, we managed to meet our targets for out-of-house waste sorting. This means we remain on track to double the quantity of PMD collected by 2023, compared to 2018.

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Last year a great many people opted for a staycation – or a holiday in their own country. Fost Plus capitalised on this trend and helped five amusement parks.

Focus on the human aspect

In 2020, the Walloon hospital Centre Hospitalier Régional in Verviers started up a project together with Fost Plus to increase and improve sorting.

Litter – the mental Click

It is estimated that 2.77 kg of litter per person per year ends up on the street or in the countryside. It’s a source of annoyance for many and harmful for our living environment. In addition, litter contains a lot of packaging material that could easily be recycled.

In the past few years, the ‘clean and tidy’ networks Mooimakers and Be WaPP, and the collaboration with Brussel Leefmilieu/Bruxelles Environnement and Net Brussel/Bruxelles-Propreté have launched a host of successful initiatives to encourage a change in behaviour. With the Click, Fost Plus is focusing on the active participation of every member of the public by thanking them for their good behaviour. Via your smartphone, you scan every item of packaging and every piece of litter that you pick up and throw in the correct rubbish bin. By doing so, you collect points – the so-called Circular UCoins – which you can then exchange at local traders. By focusing on each individual, all the time and everywhere, you create a ripple effect intended to eliminate litter from the street scene.

In the summer of 2020, De Haan was the first commune to sign up to a Click pilot project. The contents of the litter bins in the streets are taken to a special pre-sorting centre, so that the last recyclable packaging can be separated from the residual waste. This packaging can then be included in the regular circuit of the PMD collected door-to-door.

The Click rewards members of the public who treat packaging in a socially responsible and sustainable way and it increases their purchasing power. In addition, the initiative can also be integrated into the relaunch plans of towns, cities and communes to boost the local traders and hospitality businesses once the coronavirus crisis is over.

More information on www.the-click.be

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