Numbers and charts

Key figures

Household packaging recycling in Belgium:

  • 11.4 million Belgians in 581 municipalities have access to the selective collection of household packaging.
  • More than 4,700 companies are Fost Plus members. They declared 786,000 tonnes of household packaging in 2019.
  • Fost Plus recycled 727,000 tonnes of packaging in 2019, which amounts to a recycling rate of 92.5 % of the total put on the market by our members.
  • We collect 29 kg of glass, 15 kg of PMD and 54 kg of paper-cardboard per inhabitant each year. In municipalities where the New Blue Bag was introduced, PMD collection went up to an average of 19 kg per inhabitant.
  • The Fost Plus budget was EUR 185 million in 2019 and comes from member contributions and the sale of selectively collected materials.

How much packaging is collected and recycled?

Collection and recycling

Fost Plus recycled 727,000 tonnes of household packaging in 2019. This represents a recycling rate of 92.5 % of all packaging put on the market by our members. The recycling rate for plastic packaging increased from 43 % in 2018 to 46 % in 2019, demonstrating the first effects of the gradual introduction of the New Blue Bag and our continued efforts to expand the selective collection in out-of-home environments.

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How is packaging quantity evolving?

Packaging volumes and GDP

In 2019, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased slightly more than the amount of packaging on the market. The ratio between the two remains fairly constant.

How much packaging is collected per person?

Collection per person

In 2019, we collected almost 98 kg PMD, paper-cardboard and glass per person. The total quantities collected remained fairly stable compared with 2018. However, looking at the figures for specific materials, we are seeing a number of important evolutions. Paper-cardboard collection, in particular, has significantly decreased in recent years as a result of falling newspaper and magazine sales. The amounts of PMD collected continue to rise, due to the gradual introduction of the New Blue Bag and our efforts to expand selective collection in out-of-home environments. On average, we are collecting 14.68 kg per inhabitant per year via the blue bag. In municipalities where the New Blue Bag has been introduced, this number rises to 19.34 kg.

What types of packaging are most represented?

Tonnage by product group

Food and beverage packaging accounts for the majority of the packaging on the Belgian market, at 74 % of the total weight. Packaging for maintenance and hygiene products follows at some distance. The service packaging category consists of packaging 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 2019, more than 98 % of the materials we collected were recycled in Belgium or neighbouring countries (France, Germany and the Netherlands). All remaining tonnages are also processed into new raw materials within Europe.

What are the collection and recycling costs per person?

Cost per person

The cost of collecting and recycling household packaging amounts to EUR 10.84 per person. The cost has significantly increased when compared to 2018 and is determined by the operational cost of collecting and sorting and the income from the sale of collected and 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 plastics category, which includes plastic packaging other than PET and HDPE bottles and flasks.