Sorting, any time,

anywhere

Thanks to the New Blue Bag, we are now sorting more and better than ever at home. We want to extend this positive development out of home, as well. Because there is great potential here to recover packaging that still gets lost at the moment. At the same time, we are ramping up our efforts in the fight against litter.

“Despite the coronavirus crisis, we are still on track to achieve our ambitious goals for 2023.”

Steven Boussemaere

Director Innovation & Business Development

Sorting at the workplace – logical, isn’t it?

Despite the increase in working from home as a result of the coronavirus crisis, we still use a great deal of packaging at the workplace. What is more, a considerable proportion of this still ends up in the mixed industrial waste. It’s a pity, because this is packaging that we can perfectly well sort and recycle together with PMD collected door to door.

We increased our efforts still further in 2021. Based on a screening carried out together with Valipac, we wrote to around 60,000 companies that did not yet appear to have a contract with their waste partner for the collection of PMD. These efforts have yielded the necessary results. In the second half of the year especially, we noted a steady rise in the tonnages collected and an increase in the number of new contracts concluded.

Behind the scenes, we are working closely with the waste companies that are responsible for collecting PMD from companies. For instance, they can offer customers who sort a welcome bonus and they can receive an extra allowance for the additional tonnes that they collect compared with the previous year. In addition, we have recently granted them access to a network of 15 transfer stations where they can drop off the PMD that they have collected from their customers. Companies that want to start sorting PMD or improve their sorting results can go to sorterenophetwerk.be/trierautravail.be for tips, advice and support material.

On the right track to meet our 2023 goal

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PROJECT IN THE SPOTLIGHT

The army sorts PMD too

Janssen Pharma helps staff sort better

Florennes works with a private waste operator and has its own recycling park on site where all sorts of waste can be collected, including hazardous products. Household waste containers can be found in various places on the base and in the car parks, and the cleaning staff remove the waste from the offices.

The Janssen Pharma site in Beerse employs over 4,000 people, working in different departments, from administration to research and development. The company put together a team that focuses entirely on a more sustainable waste policy. Among other things, the team draws up waste sorting procedures and makes practical recommendations for selective collection.

Janssen Pharma helps staff sort better

The Janssen Pharma site in Beerse employs over 4,000 people, working in different departments, from administration to research and development. The company put together a team that focuses entirely on a more sustainable waste policy. Among other things, the team draws up waste sorting procedures and makes practical recommendations for selective collection.

Ready for life after coronavirus

In 2021, life was still largely governed by the coronavirus crisis. A lot of events were (again) cancelled, sports competitions took place behind closed doors and our out-of-home activities remained somewhat restricted. As a result, the many out-of-home sorting projects that we put on hold in 2020 remained on the back burner in 2021 as well.

Fortunately, 2022 looks set to be much better. Various sectors are preparing to start up their activities again in full, from youth movements and amusement parks to football clubs and festival organisers. This is the signal for Fost Plus to breathe new life into our out-of-home sorting initiatives. Attention here is focusing among other things on filling stations, take-away restaurants and cinemas.

Over the past few years, we have developed a wide range of services and solutions in this field. For instance, we offer advice and support every step of the way: from communication and awareness-raising to practical implementation and reporting. In addition, they can often also rely on a financial contribution towards the costs of the infrastructure and collection. Finally, specific programmes have been developed for certain sectors such as health care and we are setting up a partnership to cooperate with maintenance firms and cleaning companies.

The Click makes further progress

Litter is a thorn in the side of everyone who cares for their living environment. We all want clean streets, parks and squares. With the Click, we aim to bring about a positive change in behaviour and at the same time recover as much material as possible that is currently lost.

Active participation of the general public Via Mooimakers, Be WaPP and the partnership with Environnement Brussels and Net Brussels, we are already making a major contribution to the fight against litter. With the Click, we are adding an extra dimension to this. By rewarding members of the public for their good behaviour, we aim to make them ‘click’ to a sustainable shift in mindset.

The concept is very simple. Via an app on their smartphone, consumers can scan packaging that they are using when they are out and about, or litter that they pick up and then throw it in the appropriate bin. In exchange, they collect digital points, known as Circular UCoins, which they can spend at local businesses. This way, we make the fight against litter a positive story and we create a win-win situation, including for businesses that can definitely use a helping hand after the coronavirus crisis.

The project entered its second year in 2021. After a successful pilot project in De Haan in the summer of 2020, the app was rolled out in two major cities – Antwerp and Namur – and three coastal municipalities: Blankenberge, De Haan and Middelkerke. Anderlecht was the first Brussel commune to sign up to the project, doing so in early 2022. At the start of May we already had almost 21,000 users who together clicked 43,000 times. In 2022, the project is being rolled out in many new places. Existing projects are being reinforced and where possible the operating area is being expanded.

PROJECT IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Recovering PMD from public rubbish bins

It is estimated that public rubbish bins contain between 20 and 25% of recyclable packaging materials. Just think of the cans and bottles that we empty on the go, as well as all other packaging that we would sort in the New Blue Bag at home. The contents of the rubbish bins now still end up mainly in the residual waste. Fost Plus wants to do something about this.

Since it is not always feasible in practice to collect PMD selectively in the street - for example via sorting islands - we went in search of an alternative solution. For instance, we are testing our so-called pre-sorting processes in various towns, cities and communes. This involves sending the entire content of public rubbish bins to a specialised sorting centre where the recyclable materials are separated from the residual waste. This is done among others in Charleroi, Ghent and Leuven.

For this project, Fost Plus is working with Bruco, which specialises in sorting various waste flows and has a number of sites in Belgium. The waste from public rubbish bins is sorted in Sambreville, where the company has installed a brand-new high-tech sorting line with optical separators. The sorted PMD packaging is then taken to our usual sorting centres where it follows the same path as the packaging collected door to door.

Litter and Extended Producer Responsibility

Extended Producer Responsibility is to be significantly expanded in 2023. In addition to the collection and recycling of packaging, from then on producers will also be responsible for the costs of clearing up packaging that ends up as litter or in public rubbish bins and for the costs of communication and awareness-raising campaigns aimed at the general public. We see this as a unique opportunity to assume our role in society and, together with all the current players, make a contribution to a cleaner living environment.

For instance, we want to make maximum use of the expertise built up over the years within Mooimakers, Be WaPP and the Brussels-Capital Region. There is a great deal of knowledge to be found in the local authorities and intermunicipal companies as well. We want to pool this as much as possible in a policy that focuses on cooperation, efficiency and maximum recycling of packaging from litter.