New PMD sorting centres

Advanced technology for the New Blue Bag


Five new high-tech sorting centres are coming into operation to sort packaging from the New Blue Bag. They are located at strategic points throughout Belgium, allowing us to limit the transport of the packaging collected. Furthermore, the new sorting centres are creating many new and sustainable jobs here in our own country.


The New Blue Bag has a major impact on the underlying recycling chain. Not only do we require more capacity, but the composition of the PMD is also changing drastically, with lots of new packagings and materials making the sorting process far more complex. This is why the PMD sorting centres had to be totally modernised.


On the basis of an extensive call for tenders, Fost Plus selected five partners to build the sorting centres for the New Blue Bag. Four of the five sorting centres are now fully operational: Indaver (Willebroek), Prezero (Evergem), Valtris (Couillet) and Val’Up (Mons). Construction on the final sorting centre, Sitel in Liège, began in November 2021. This is scheduled to be operational by the end of 2022. Approximately 90% of the packaging that we collect via the New Blue Bag is already being processed in these new sorting centres.

Whereas in the past, the number of types of plastic in the blue PMD bag was limited to two – PET and HDPE bottles and containers – packaging made of polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), PET trays and films have now been added, making the sorting process far more complex. The new sorting centres therefore combine a great many new and existing technologies, including drum sieves, wind shifters and infrared cameras. The PMD packaging is sorted into fourteen uniform fractions, ready for further recycling.

They also provide the necessary flexibility to be able to further refine and expand the collection scenarios in the future. For instance, since 1 January 2022, metal spray cans have also been accepted in the PMD bag. Previously, only food and cosmetics spray cans were allowed in the PMD. As recycling technologies and markets develop, the New Blue Bag can be opened up further to additional packaging.


Fost Plus
Indaver, Prezero, Sitel, Valtris, Val’Up