In 2022, we again took some important steps along the path towards building a circular packaging economy for Belgium. But together with our members, we are already looking forward to a further expansion of our social role.

In total, we recycled over 725,000 tonnes of packaging in 2022, accounting for 95% of all packaging put on the market. Thanks to the New Blue Bag, which was fully operational for a whole year for the first time in 2022, the quantity of PMD collected rose to almost 23 kilos per person.

Further proof that the blue bag remains an essential factor for the successful collection and recycling of packaging waste. After all, door-to-door collection means that everyone can take part in the system effortlessly. The further expansion of the contents – drinks capsules were added at the start of 2023 – will further increase the volumes in the coming years.

While in the home environment we are gradually working towards maximum recovery, out of home a great deal of packaging still gets lost. We increased our efforts even further in 2022, in close cooperation with our sister organisation Valipac and with the companies that are responsible on the ground for the collection of industrial waste. In-company collection reached cruising speed in the autumn. We again achieved our interim objective (24,000 tonnes).

Moreover, part of our packaging still ends up as litter. As of 2023, together with our members we will bear responsibility for the cost of cleaning up this packaging. However, we are looking beyond the purely financial aspect and want to make an active contribution to a bold litter policy. We also turn to innovation and technology. Together with a number of drinks companies, retailers and sector federations such as Fevia and Comeos, in 2022 we started to develop a digital deposit scheme.

If we want to recycle all packaging, then of course it needs to actually be recyclable. So Design for Recycling remains an important focal point. Our members have undertaken to put only recyclable packaging on the market by 2025. And we see that in practice, too. Many companies have a clear roadmap to permanently phase out their non-recyclable packaging or that which is difficult to recycle.

The circular economy is clearly in full swing and there are a great many challenges in store, which we plan to tackle together with our members. So 2023 is set to be a pivotal year for Fost Plus – not only the last year of our current accreditation, but also the year when we lay the foundations for our future.