Recycling household

packaging in Belgium

In 2021, Fost Plus recycled 89.8% of the household packaging put on the market by its members. These figures were calculated on the basis of the new, more stringent measuring methodology designed to ensure a level playing field in Europe.

How is the recycling percentage calculated?

The European Circular Economy Package provides a strict legal framework to reduce waste and introduces an ambitious long-term plan to encourage recycling. It also includes a new methodology to calculate the recycling percentage. In order to compare the different European member states properly in terms of the recycling goals, it is important to calculate in the same way in every country. Europe has issued guidelines for this. The various member states have to report to Europe using the new methodology for the first time by the end of June 2022 at the latest. These reports relate to the results for the year 2020.

A new measuring method In concrete terms, from now on the recycling percentage will be calculated at a later point in the chain. Whereas the recycled quantities were previously measured upon leaving the sorting centres, this is now done when the recycling actually takes place. That is after any impurities and unsuitable substances have been removed from the sorted materials in the recycling centres. So we are talking about a new computation point.

Impact on the reported figures This new computation point has an impact on the recycling figures of all European member states – including Belgium. Thanks to the high degree of purity of the collected and sorted packaging material that we deliver to our recycling partners, the new computation point has a relatively limited impact on most materials. Moreover, this does not only concern household packaging. Industrial packaging is calculated in the same way. So companies that declare both household packaging via Fost Plus and industrial packaging via Valipac see this reflected in the recycling figures.

The new measuring methodology used to calculate how many tonnes are recycled has been approved by the Interregional Packaging Commission (IRPC). They in turn will consolidate the recycling figures for packaging waste, once these have been checked and validated, with a view to reporting to Europe.



tonnes of packaging put on the market

Total recycling percentage


In 2021, our members put 804,194 tonnes of packaging on the market. Of this, 721,994 tonnes were recycled, resulting in a recycling percentage of 89.8%.

Quantities of recycled packaging per inhabitant and per year


16,4 kg


29,7 kg


16,6 kg

Recycling percentage per type of material

**These percentages are the recycled quantities compared to the quantities our members put on the Belgian market. This means that the recycled quantities also include collected packaging materials put on the Belgian market by non-members or purchased by consumers abroad (border purchases).

And what about the Belgian recycling targets? In the coming years we will report to the IVCIE using both the old and the new calculation method. Which calculation method will eventually be used for the assessment of the legal objectives of the Belgian Interregional Cooperation Agreement will be determined by the IVC in the new accreditation conditions, effective as of 2024.

Where are the materials collected recycled?

Where are the materials collected recycled?

€ 253.842.640

In 2021, Fost Plus had an operating budget of EUR 253,842,640. This mainly covers the costs of the selective collection, sorting and recycling of household packaging. The Fost Plus members bear these costs via the Green Dot.

Excellent results at a low cost


The selective collecting, sorting and recycling of household packaging waste costs about EUR 15 per person. For this, we achieve a recycling percentage of 89.8%, placing us among the best in Europe. This excellent result may be attributed to efficient collection systems that make it easy for everyone to take part, a uniform sorting message, a centralised approach to sorting and long-term recycling contracts.