How much household packaging is collected and recycled every year through the Fost Plus system? All the facts and figures.
The recycling of household packaging waste in Belgium:
The contribution for 2017 amounts to EUR 77.8 million, a rise of 8% compared to 2016. This trend is largely the result of higher Green Dot tariffs on the majority of materials in 2017. In 2017 a total of 78 members joined retroactively. When these retroactive contributions are taken into account, the total Green Dot contribution for 2017 amounts to EUR 78.1 million.
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.
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 2017 members paid Fost Plus EUR 0.099 per kg, or EUR 99.4 per tonne of packaging. This is 8% higher than in 2016, largely as the result of the higher Green Dot tariffs in 2017.
Fost Plus offers several simplified declaration systems in order to minimize the administrative burden on its members. In 2017, 79% of members used one of these simplified systems. Together, these companies declared 20% of the total weight and paid 12% 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 88% of the total contribution.
As of 31 December 2017, Fost Plus had 4,927 members, a slight increase compared to 2016. In 2017, 180 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.
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 have risen in 2016 against 2015, whereas the revenue from recycling decreased. As a result, the net cost per inhabitant rose by 12.7% against 2016.
The composition of the PMD collected remains relatively stable from one year to the next. Metal packaging accounts for a little over a quarter of the PMD category, drinks cartons for 10%, plastic bottles and flasks for 43% and the blue bags themselves for almost 3%. Residue accounts for 17% of the content.
Tonnages collected via the “PMD Companies” contracts are increasing year upon year. We also observe a slight increase in 2017. In addition, many companies offer their selectively collected waste via the regular household collection. However, there is still room for improvement. In SMEs in particular, sorting appears not to be sufficiently well established. Fost Plus is therefore preparing a new approach, in which it will cooperate more closely with VAL-I-PAC and waste operators.
For the fourth year in a row, the national residue rate amounts to about 17%. The national average is artificially high due to the results of four intermunicipal companies that have residue rates above 20%. When we disregard the results of these intermunicipal companies, the national average amounts to 14%. Two intermunicipal companies achieve residue rates below 10%.
The intermunicipal companies Ipalle and IDM still have the lowest residual waste rate (below 10%).
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. 2017 has been a very good year, with several intermunicipal companies managing to keep their level of soiled sites below 5%.
In 2017, the quality of transparent PET, green PET and drinks cartons remained at a level that is comparable to last year. The quality of blue PET diminished.
The results are generated from the analysis of 790 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, 99.9% of PMD deliveries complied with the expectations of recyclers.
In line with previous years, we observe a further decrease in the 2017 collection results (kg/inhabitant/year). This is primarily due to a decrease of 3.59% for paper-cardboard compared to 2016. This decrease is partly explained by falling sales of newspapers and magazines. In addition, there is the phenomenon of both legal and illegal parallel collections of paper-cardboard. We also note a slight decrease of 0.95% for glass, while PMD continues its rising trend since 2014.
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%.
Fost Plus aims for recycling close to home. As a result, we limit the environmental impact of transportation and logistics for processing to an absolute minimum. More specifically, more than 99% of the packaging was processed in Belgium or one of our neighbouring countries in 2017.
We also want to continue to use this strategy in the future. We will search for recycling capacity close to home for the additional materials that we will collect via the expanded PMD bag. Moreover, the recently announced Chinese ban on the import of waste proves that this choice is not only environmentally right but also economically viable in the long term.
This chart shows the evolution of revenue generated from sales for each material. Variations are determined by changes in:
Material revenues have increased in 2017 when compared to 2016, due to increased revenues for aluminum, steel, glass and – in particular – paper-cardboard.