Design4Recycling: solutions to adapt packaging to sorting and recycling

Design4Recycling: solutions to adapt packaging to sorting and recycling

Every year, 17,000 tonnes of non-recyclable household packaging comes onto the Belgian market, out of a total of 786,000 tonnes of household packaging put on the market by our members. Specifically to achieve this aim, Fost Plus helps companies to adapt their packaging so that it can be sorted in one of our selective collection flows with a view to being recycled. This is the very principle behind Design4Recycling. 

Major undertakings on the part of industry

As agreed with the Comeos, Fevia and Detic federations, Belgian companies have undertaken to ensure that all packaging placed on the market is recyclable by 2025. To do this, Fost Plus is supporting companies in their efforts to find a recyclable solution for all non-recyclable packaging put on the market. It helps them choose packaging and materials in line with the current collection and sorting scenarios, valid for three to five years. Fost Plus identifies and suggests alternative packaging types based on solutions that already exist on the market or will be available shortly.

The principle of eco-modulation

Every company is legally responsible for the collection, sorting and recycling of the packaging it puts on the market. Companies can opt for a collective solution and join Fost Plus in order to meet these processing obligations when their packaging reaches the end of its life. They pay a sum that is established according to the quantity and type of materials (plastic, glass, paper or cardboard, etc.) placed on the market. Each material pays its own Green Dot rate, which is calculated on the basis of the actual costs of collecting, sorting and recycling the material and the return on the sale of sorted materials. The Green Dot rate is calculated so that each recycled packaging material covers the cost of its recycling chain, that is packaging materials that are easy to collect, sort and recycle will pay a lower Green Dot rate than those for which sorting and recycling prove problematic. The Green Dot system therefore follows the reasoning behind ‘eco-modulation’. In this way, we encourage companies to choose packaging that can be recycled through one of our current collection and sorting flows.

Design4Recycling: a constructive approach as agreed with industry

The Design4Recycling service helps companies to replace their non-recyclable packaging with alternatives that can be recycled. This is based on their declarations.

We offer services to our members to guide them towards packaging in line with our current collection and sorting flows: the benchmark, the workshop and the information session, guidelines and, at the request of companies, we also cooperate actively on specific projects.

1. For members who put large quantities on the market, we develop personalised processes that take account of their specific needs. The benchmark is an example of this. We carry out an analysis of packaging that cannot be recycled or is difficult to recycle and compare the composition of this packaging with that of companies in similar sectors. We therefore suggest recyclable alternatives that are already present on the market for non-recyclable packaging identified in the benchmark.

2. We organise workshops and information sessions at the request of our members. During these workshops, we raise awareness of staff in various departments (marketing, R&D, etc.) of the need to conceptualise packaging taking account of sorting and recycling. We point out the packaging that poses problems for sorting and/or recycling. We work hand in hand with the various people involved in the creation of packaging in order to put packaging on the market that can be recycled through one of our selective collection, sorting and recycling flows.

3. Complementing these two services, we develop guidelines to direct our members towards materials that can easily be sorted in one of our selective collection flows and make it possible to recycle them.

We do not stop there. We are constantly on the lookout for new proposals and technological developments. In the past few years, several projects have been launched in collaboration with various companies. Find out here how we recently helped Unilever to optimise the recycling of its Knorr Snackpots.

Does this article make you want to improve the design or the recyclability of your company’s packaging? Don’t hesitate to contact us so that together we can plan a path adapted to your needs.