Numbers and charts

How much household packaging is collected and recycled every year through the Fost Plus system? All the facts and figures.

Key figures

The recycling of household packaging waste in Belgium:

  • 11.000.000 Belgian citizens  in 589 municipalities have access to the selective collection of household packaging waste.
  • More than 5,000 companies are Fost Plus members. In 2016 they declared 778,100 tonnes of packaging.
  • Fost Plus recycled 680,000 tonnes of packaging this year, representing 87.4% of all packaging materials brought onto the market. This avoided more than 670,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
  • This translates to about 29 kg of glass, 14 kg of PMD and 57 kg of paper and cardboard (of which 16 kg packaging) per inhabitant.
  • In 2016, Fost Plus had an annual budget of 131.7 million EUR, coming from member contributions and sales of the collected materials.
  • The entire Fost Plus system creates jobs for an estimated 2,500 people.

Global evolution of the market and recycling

Recycling and valorizations results



Packaging volumes versus GDP


While GDP continues to rise, the volume of packaging placed on the market is decreasing.

Evolution of Fost Plus members and their declarations

Tonnage and contribution by product group

Tonnage en bijdrage per productgroep

Food products and drinks together account for the great majority of disposable household packaging, at 73% of the total weight and 69% of the total contribution.

Breakdown of members by contribution

Verdeling van de leden volgens bijdrage

Fost Plus notes a high concentration of contributions from a limited number of members. In 2016, 5% of members paid 89% of the total contribution. Conversely, 95% of members accounted for 11% of the contribution.

Share of the various declaration systems

Aandeel van de verschillende aangiftesystemen

Fost Plus offers several simplified declaration systems in order to minimize the administrative burden on its members. In 2016, 79% of members used one of these simplified systems. Together, these companies declared 20% of the total weight and paid 14% of the total contribution. The simplified declaration systems are primarily intended for smaller companies.

Larger companies generally submit a detailed declaration based on packaging files. They represent 21% of members accounting for 80% of the total weight and 86% of the total contribution.

Share of paper declarations

Aandeel papieren aangiftes

The number of members making use of the FostPack and ePack online declaration tools continues to rise. The share of paper declarations has now decreased to just 10%.


Evolution of Fost Plus membership


As of 31 December 2016, Fost Plus had 4,967 members. This number has remained stable compared to 2015. In 2016, 173 new companies joined Fost Plus.

The majority of the companies that terminate their membership do so because they are ceasing their activities or because they are no longer responsible for packaging.

Tonnage declared by members


In 2015, the 4,967 member companies together placed 778.1 kT of packaging on the market, i.e. 0.7% less than in 2015.


Green Dot contribution


The contribution for 2016 amounts to EUR 71.91 million, a rise of 14% compared to 2015. This trend is largely the result of higher Green Dot tariffs on the majority of materials in 2016. In 2016 a total of 84 members joined retroactively. When these retroactive contributions are taken into account, the total Green Dot contribution for 2016 amounts to EUR 72.1 million.

Materials in tonnage and contribution


This chart shows the tonnages declared and the contributions paid by material. Glass and paper-cardboard are the most heavily represented in these tonnages. Taken together, they account for 60 % of the total weight. However, the main contribution in euros is that of the other recoverables category (e.g.: plastic packaging other than PET and HDPE bottles). For these materials, the Green Dot tariff is considerably higher.

Green Dot tariffs


Green Dot tariffs for 2017 rose 7% on average compared with 2016. Ambitious action plans to reduce litter, as well as lower material revenues and rising operational costs, are resulting in an increase in Green Dot tariffs.

Average contribution per ton of packaging


This chart shows the average contribution (in euros) that Fost Plus members paid over the past 10 years per kilo of packaging placed on the market.

In 2016 members paid Fost Plus EUR 0.092 per kg, or EUR 92.4 per tonne of packaging. This is 15% higher than in 2015, largely as the result of the higher Green Dot tariffs in 2016.

Collecting and sorting

PMD Composition

Samenstelling van PMD

The composition of the PMD collected remains relatively stable from one year to the next. Metal packaging accounts for almost a quarter of the PMD category, drinks cartons for 11%, plastic bottles and flasks for approximately 43% and the blue bags themselves for 2%. Residue accounts for just under one-sixth of the content.

Evolution cost of collection and sorting

Kost inzameling


The changes in the average cost of collecting glass, paper-cardboard and PMD result from both annual price revisions for contracts in progress and changes in the rates applied in renewed contracts. Fluctuations in the quantities collected each year also play a role.

Average costs have seen an increase of maximum 1%, with the exception of paper-cardboard collection and PMD sorting. New market inquiries (PMD sorting) and a decrease in collected quantities (paper-cardboard) significantly impacted average costs. The introduction of road charges for heavy goods vehicles was an additional cost-increasing factor in 2016.

Operational cost per inhabitant

Operationele nettokosten per inwoner

The net costs per inhabitant are largely determined, on the one hand, by the operational costs of collection and sorting and, on the other, by the revenue generated from the sale of the materials that have been collected and sorted. Operational costs per inhabitant rose slightly in 2016 against 2015. Revenue from recycling fell significantly in 2016 against 2015. As a result, the net cost per inhabitant rose by 8.2% against 2015.

PMD collected from companies

PMD ingezameld bij bedrijven

On 1 January 2016 Wallonia introduced the sorting obligation, in line with Brussels and Flanders. This means that businesses and organisations across Belgium are now required to collect their PMD selectively. The introduction of the new regulation had a positive effect on quantities collected: a rise from 4,800 tonnes in 2015 to 5,465 tonnes in 2016. These figures refer only to companies that have concluded a specific ‘PMD—Companies’ contract with their waste collection company. In practice, the tonnages are significantly higher. A large proportion of the PMD collected from (smaller) businesses ends up in the domestic stream, for which no separate figures are available. We have also noticed an improvement in quality. The residual waste rate continued to fall, dropping to 21.8%.

Evolution of the national residue rate

Evolutie van het nationale residupercentage

After a rise in 2014 the national residual waste rate has fallen back and amounts to 16.45% in 2016. The hard work put in by a number of intermunicipal companies is clearly bearing fruit in this area. Residue in the PMD collected from businesses has also fallen.

Residue PMD/cleanliness bottle bank sites

Residupercentage van PMD


The intermunicipal companies Ipalle and IDM have the lowest residual waste rate (below 10%).

Netheid van de glasbolsites

The bottle bank networks of each intermunicipal company are visited at least once every quarter. At the national level, at least 40% of sites are inspected during the course of one year. It is generally accepted that a well maintained network presents less than 15% soiled sites. 2016 has been a very good year, with several intermunicipal companies managing to keep their level of soiled sites below 5% (in green on the map).

Quality of the sorted materials

Kwaliteit van de gesorteerde materialen

In 2016, the quality of transparent PET, HDPE and drinks cartons remained at a level that is comparable to last year. The quality of blue and green PET improved.

The results are generated from the analysis of 808 bales in different sorting centers. These were carried out in a homogeneous manner and are aimed at specific waste streams and sorting centers where quality issues have occurred in the past.

In 2016, 99.2% of PMD deliveries complied with the expectations of recyclers.

Collection results

Evolutie van de inzamelresultaten

In comparison with 2015, we note a very slight rise in the collection yield for PMD and a slight decrease for glass and paper-cardboard. The decrease for paper-cardboard amounts to 1.65%. This decrease is partly explained by the falling sales of newspapers and magazines. In addition, there is the phenomenon of both legal and illegal parallel collections of paper-cardboard.

Collection results by intermunicipal company






Some differences can be noted between intermunicipal companies for the paper-cardboard and, to a lesser extent, the glass categories. These mainly result from the presence of tourism activities (intermunicipal companies with large cities, coastal municipalities) and local prevention policies.


Breakdown of material revenues

Detailopbrengst van de materialen

As in previous years, paper-cardboard and PET again accounted for the majority of revenues from materials.

Weighted average price of materials

Waarde van glas

Waarde van PET

Waarde van HDPE

Waarde van drankkartons

Waarde van aluminium

Waarde van staal

Waarde van papier-karton

These charts show the weighted average value of contracts based on the standard specifications. The variations are determined by changes to contractual terms as a result of requests for tenders, revisions to the pricing formulas in the contracts and, to a lesser extent, fluctuations in the volumes collected on a monthly basis for each contract. 

Evolution for tonnages of household packaging

Evolutie van de tonnage van huishoudelijke verpakkingen

In addition to the collection of glass, paper-cardboard and PMD, Fost Plus also finances the additional packaging collected and recycled by the intermunicipal companies. This is primarily other plastic packaging that does not belong in the PMD bag, metal packaging collected via the small hazardous waste (KGA or PDD) and—to a lesser extent—wine bottle corks. Since 2009, the volumes recycled that are declared to Fost Plus by the intermunicipal companies have risen by over 45%.

Average material prices

Gemiddelde materiaalprijzen


The weighted average value, calculated across all materials, amounted to EUR 97.6/T in 2016.


Countries in which household packaging is processed

Landen waar huishoudelijke verpakkingen verwerkt worden

Fost Plus strives to recycle collected materials as close to home as possible. This allows us to limit the environmental impact of transportation and logistics. It also simplifies inspections carried out on the processing of the materials.

Specifically, in 2016 more than 99% of the collected household packaging was processed into recycled raw materials in Belgium or elsewhere in Europe. 74.1% was processed here in Belgium, 24.1% in our neighboring countries (the Netherlands, Germany and France) and 1.5% in the rest of Europe. Only a very limited amount (0.3%) was processed outside Europe.

Evolution of material and Green Dot revenues

Evolutie van de opbrengst van materialen en het Groene Punt

In 2016, we observed a further fall in material revenues and once again a strong rise in member contributions.

Recycling in Europa

European leader

The latest figures from Eurostat – for the year 2014 – clearly show that Belgium is still leaving the rest of Europe behind when it comes to recycling packaging waste. The figures include household packaging as well as industrial packaging.


Cover Fost Plus Annual Report 2016

(click the image to download Fost Plus Annual Report 2016)

More information?

For more information about Fost Plus and our activities, please send an e-mail to

Journalists can contact our press officer, Fatima Boudjaoui.

tel.: +32 2 775 03 50