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 2018 they declared 780,000 tonnes of packaging.
  • Fost Plus recycled 724,000 tonnes of packaging in 2018, representing 92,8 % of all packaging materials brought onto the Belgian market by our members.
  • This translates to about 29 kg of glass15 kg of PMD and 54 kg of paper and cardboardincluding 17 kg of packaging per inhabitant.
  • In 2018, Fost Plus had an annual budget of 190 million EUR, coming from member contributions and sales of the collected materials.


Numbers and charts 2018

How much packaging is collected and recycled?

Collection and recycling 2018

Fost Plus recycled almost 724,000 tonnes of household packaging in 2018, with a recycling rate of 92.8 %. Both figures have increased compared to 2017. We recycle almost all the glass, paper-cardboard and metal packaging declared by members. For some materials, recycling rates are even higher than 100 %, since not all companies putting packaged products on the market are Fost Plus members, and Belgians also buy products in other countries. The recycling rate for plastic packaging is about 42 %. This percentage will increase significantly in the years ahead because of the expansion of PMD collection.


How is packaging quantity evolving?

Packaging volumes and GDP

The total amount of packaging on the market has gone down slightly since 2017 based on declarations by our members. This evolution confirms the trend that we have seen in previous years: as GDP continues to rise, the amount of packaging remains fairly constant.

How much packaging is collected per person?

Collection per person

In 2018, we collected almost 98 kg PMD, paper-cardboard and glass per person. This figure includes materials collected door-to-door as well as from recycling parks and is not just for packaging materials: the paper-cardboard fraction also includes newspapers and magazines and other printed matter. The total quantities collected have gone down slightly compared with 2017. Paper-cardboard collection, in particular, has significantly decreased in recent years as a result of falling sales of newspapers and magazines. The quantities of glass declined slightly too. The amounts of PMD collected, however, continue to rise.

What types of packaging are most represented?

Tonnage by product group

Food and beverage packaging accounts for the lion’s share of the packaging on the Belgian market, at 74 % of the total weight. Packaging for maintenance and hygiene products follow at a respectable distance. The service packaging category consists of packaging which is used at point-of-sale, such as pizza boxes, bread bags or meat packaging. All figures are based on the declarations of our members.

Where are the collected materials recycled?

Recycling by country

Fost Plus consciously strives to recycle close to home, limiting the environmental impact of transport and logistics. In 2018, more than 99 % of the materials we collect were recycled in Belgium or our neighbouring countries (France, Germany and the Netherlands). The rest is largely processed within Europe. Only a very small proportion (less than 100 tonnes) is processed outside Europe.

What are the collection and recycling costs per person?

Cost per person

Collecting and recycling household packaging costs just over 9 euros per person, slightly higher than in 2017. The cost is determined by the operational cost of collecting and sorting, and income from the sale of sorted materials.

Which materials are the most common?

Tonnage per product

Glass and paper-cardboard are the most heavily represented in our members’ declarations. Together they account for more than half of the total weight of the packaging on the market. The largest contributions in euro are in the ‘other recoverables’ category, which includes plastic packaging not made from PET or HDPE. For these materials, the Green Dot rate is considerably higher.