Go Circular event: how does Fost Plus improve packaging circularity?
The fourth ‘Go Circular’ Business Summit was held in Rotterdam on 19 April this year. With this event, the organisation aims to help the plastics chain move closer towards a low-carbon circular economy. Various useful testimonies were presented on the transformation to greater circularity and sustainability.
One of the inspiring speeches was given by our colleague Lieven Capon, Innovation Cluster Manager at Fost Plus. Lieven was invited to explain how Fost Plus improves packaging circularity by means of modifications upstream and downstream of the value chain. He was also able to stress the importance of cooperating as an ecosystem to achieve our common goals.
During his presentation, Lieven addressed four essential points for the Extended Producer Responsibility system (EPR) to speed up the circular economy. He also showed how we implement this in Belgium.
- Installing a collection, sorting and recycling system that can reach the recycling goals and that is easy to adopt for the public, together with various parties in the chain. Thanks to our blue bag, we are able to recover a maximum amount of household packaging in a way that is easy and accessible for the general public. We constantly strive to optimise the process, for instance by also accepting coffee capsules, which has been the case since January 2023.
- Creating a local circular economy, with high-quality recycled material fed back into a local production chain. At Fost Plus we aim to establish a local circular economy in order to limit the carbon footprint of our activities as much as possible. This is why we invest in cutting-edge sorting and recycling centres in Belgium.
- Implementing innovative solutions to recover packaging out of home in order to increase the recycling rates and reduce litter. We noticed that thanks to the blue bag, home sorting was widely adopted by Belgians. However, when they are out and about or at the workplace, this is still a tricky matter. So Fost Plus aims to act as a guide and provide logistic support to increase this out-of-home sorting. In addition, the Click app offers rewards for members of the public who sort or pick up litter when they are on the go. The expansion of EPR also has a role to play in this fight against litter. In fact, the single-use plastics directive (SUP) stipulates that household packaging producers are now responsible for the costs incurred by their packaging that ends up as litter.
- Providing help for companies to improve the sorting, recycling and circularity of their packaging by offering them advice and financial incentives to opt for alternatives. We undertake to support our members in their efforts to modify their packaging by providing expert advice. We also offer financial incentives to encourage businesses to opt for more sustainable packaging solutions. This is the principle behind the Green Dot. It gives companies an incentive to use packaging that is compatible with the sorting and recycling solutions available in Belgium.