Ecoo Beringen: first polyethylene film recycling plant in Belgium


New state-of-the-art recycling centre specialises in foil-to-foil recycling 


29 September 2022 - Ecoo Beringen, a brand-new, state-of-the art recycling centre in Beringen in Limburg, is the first recycling plant in Belgium to provide foil-to-foil recycling of polyethylene foil (PE foil), the plastic that is used, among others, in the outer packaging of multipacks and in packaging bags. Allowing Fost Plus, Biostoom Beringen and ecoo Group to jointly create a high-quality recycling solution for this type of packaging.

In May 2021, Flemish Minister of Environment Zuhal Demir symbolically placed the first stone, and today, the new high-tech foil-to-foil recycling plant ecoo Beringen will be officially opened. The new recycling centre represents an investment of some 47 million euros and will create 30 new, local jobs. 


Our goal? Making packaging circular 

The plant will annually recycle about 42,000 tons of packaging materials into regranulates, which will be used for blown film applications, garbage bags or new packaging films. Fost Plus’s New Blue Bag will have an important share in this production, because the bag will be provide 25,000 tons of plastic packaging waste made of polyethylene foil from households, which will then be recycled into regranulates.

Fost Plus is making continuous efforts to create additional recycling capacity for plastic packaging materials. The plant in Beringen is the first of five new recycling plants, which will jointly recycle more than 75% of the plastic packaging materials in Belgium by 2024. In 2021, this still amounted to 12%. Thanks to the introduction of the New Blue Bag, an additional 8 kilograms of plastic is collected per person each year. Belgium has achieved a recycling percentage of 52% (in 2021) with respect to plastic waste and is exceeding the European targets (50% in 2025). 

Wim Geens, managing director of Fost Plus, about ecoo Beringen: “This is the first recycling plant in Belgium for new types of packaging collected by means of the New Blue Bag, allowing us to further close the materials loop. This will largely contribute to Fost Plus reaching its goal to create a recycling solution for each type of packaging on the market. Raw materials are being used again thanks to this recycling process. Moreover, as recycling is done locally, we avoid the use of long-haul transportation and thus the emission of greenhouse gasses.” 


State-of-the-art technology for qualitative recycling 

Wim Van Den Bossche and Koen Verhaert of ecoo Group are proud of the achievement: “The plant is a true innovation within the sector. The latest technologies are used to recycle intricately sorted materials: three high-tech mechanical recycling lines, a real-time monitoring system based on artificial intelligence, and a digital platform with quality control for international standardisation of r-LDPE (recycled low density polyethylene). Allowing us to produce near-virgin raw materials.” 

“The new site fits with ecoo Group’s long-term strategy. To us, the evolution to near-virgin quality of circular raw materials, and long-term partnerships constitute the basis for further development of the sector. With the new site in Beringen, we are taking major steps towards locally embedding the recycling process and we continue to be leader in Europe with respect to recycling of household plastic waste.” 

“By constantly attracting innovative and circular projects, we help to further develop a recycling hub in Limburg. As we are doing through our partnership with Fost Plus and ecoo Beringen. Our biosteam power plant will sustainably convert the waste materials that cannot be recycled in the new recycling centre, into energy to be used by the recycling centre”, says Ludo Kelchtermans, CEO of Nuhmah, the Limburg climate company that helped make this investment possible.


Want to find out more about how we plan to invest in local, long-term recycling capacity? Download ons White Paper (in French and in Dutch).