Since the end of last year, everyone in Belgium has been able to sort their packaging in the New Blue Bag. So now we collect virtually all plastic packaging for recycling. What is more, we collect it from the public at home, so everyone can easily take part in the system. After all, for many people, sorting waste is the most concrete way to contribute to a cleaner world. The uniform collection system with a simple sorting message is therefore fundamental to achieving our goals to offer a recycling solution for all packaging that comes onto the market.
"The fight against litter will be a major priority for Fost Plus in the years to come. In our vision, a cleaner living environment goes hand in hand with better recycling."
Wim Geens - Managing Director Fost Plus
Rather less visible to the public but at least as important is the development of a totally new infrastructure to actually recycle the packaging from the New Blue Bag. With five new sorting centres and shortly five new recycling plants on Belgian soil, we are also making a good contribution to the economy and employment in this country.
But there is still a lot of work to do. We are already looking to the future: can we collect even more fractions via the New Blue Bag? Can we sort even better and more precisely? Can we recycle better and produce a higher grade? Technology and innovation will play an important role here, from artificial intelligence in our sorting centres to digital watermarks on packaging.
In addition, Design4Recycling is becoming more important. Industry has committed to put only recyclable packaging on the market by 2025. That calls for a lot of effort from producers, but also the deployment of new recycling technologies. We are working closely with our members to remove the last non-recyclable packaging from the system.
Whereas we already sort fairly well at home, out of the home there is still a lot of work to be done. There is great potential to recover packaging that still gets lost at the moment. In 2021, the focus was on our large-scale campaign to encourage sorting at the workplace, among other things. In 2022, we aim to breathe new life into the projects that had to be put on hold because of the coronavirus measures.
The fight against litter is a major priority for Fost Plus over the next few years. As of January 2023, together with our members we will bear responsibility for the cost of litter resulting from packaging. This is the ideal time to look at ways of tackling the litter problem in an efficient, thorough and innovative manner. In addition, in our vision of a clean living environment goes hand in hand with extra recycling.
The Extended Producer Responsibility underlines once again the important social role that we fulfil. As the driving force behind the circular economy, we help the public, companies and authorities to deal with packaging in a more sustainable way. We hope that in the coming years we can further extend this role and here, too, offer a response to a major social challenge.