The construction of FILAO, the PET bottles recycling plant, has started!


Belgium’s first integrated PET recycling plant, FILAO, is being set up in Charleroi. Sources Alma, leader on the bottled water market in terms of volume, and the waste management company SUEZ stress that the plant will have an annual recycling capacity of 40,000 tonnes of PET. 

This is a major accomplishment, because the plant will be able to recycle the PET bottles from the New Blue Bag into secondary raw materials to produce new bottles. This is where the circular economy really takes effect: the bottles from the PMD waste collected in Belgium are sorted in Belgium, transformed into granulate here and returned to the Belgian market via the brands of the Sources Alma group. Sources Alma can thus produce new bottles consisting of over 50% of r-PET, in line with the European objectives. 

This application will be possible thanks to the high-performance technological process to be implemented at the plant, where the bottles will undergo various treatments to be converted into flakes and then into granules that will be used to make new bottles. 

Fost Plus is delighted with this example of a local circular economy. The FILAO plant offers a high-tech solution for bottle-to-bottle recycling, avoids the emission of three tonnes of CO2 for every tonne of r-PET produced and contributes to the local economy by creating direct and indirect jobs. 

Wim Geens, Managing Director of Fost Plus, adds that "two conditions exist to create a successful recycling chain. Firstly, there must be a constant supply of materials, thanks to a uniform sorting message. Secondly, the impeccable quality of PMD's bales of sorted materials, provided through state-of-the-art technology, is also paramount. With the New Blue Bag, which makes sorting even easier for the citizen, and the new sorting centres, these two conditions are now met. We are proud of this new project, the new PET bottle recycling plant, for which the construction officially starts today, and which is one of five new recycling plants for plastics from the New Blue Bag."

And the FILAO plant will not be the only example of a local circular economy, as in the next few years, no fewer than five new recycling plants for plastics are to be built in Belgium in pursuit of Fost Plus’ ambition to develop a local circular economy.