The Green Dot

The Green Dot logo on packaging indicates that the company bringing the packaged product onto the market pays a contribution to Fost Plus for the selective collection, sorting and recycling of household packaging. The logo does not mean, however, that the packaging is made of recycled materials or that you may dispose of the packaging in the blue PMD bag.

Groene Punt-Logo

What the Green Dot means

The Green Dot logo appears on much of the packaging for products you use on a daily basis. The logo indicates that the company bringing the packaged product onto the market is a member of Fost Plus, and pays a contribution for the selective collection, sorting and recycling of household packaging. Each company’s contribution is based on the quantity and the type of packaging it brings onto the market.

What the Green Dot does not mean

  • The Green Dot logo does not automatically mean that the packaging was made of recycled materials.
  • Nor is the Green Dot a guarantee that the packaging on which the logo is printed will be recycled. After all, this depends on the material that was used. For example, if you spot the logo on a tub of butter, this does not necessarily mean that the container can also effectively be recycled.
  • Nor does the Green Dot logo indicate how you should sort your packaging. So if you spot the logo on your packaging, this does not automatically mean that it belongs in your PMD bag.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is there no sorting logo on the packaging?

A logo that indicates whether packaging should be sorted as PMD, glass, paper-cardboard or residual waste may at first glance seem to simplify the sorting process. But things are not always that simple, for various reasons.

There are still significant differences between the collection scenarios and sorting rules in the various European countries. Packaging that is accepted as selectively sorted waste in one country may be considered residual waste in another. Some other countries have a deposit system for certain types of packaging, requiring consumers to return the packaging to the point of sales. 

Even within Belgium the rules are not always the same. A number of municipalities and intermunicipal companies collect certain types of plastic packaging – which do not belong in the blue PMD bag – at the container park, others don’t. This makes uniform communication on the packaging difficult.

Finally, a lot of the packaging is made of a combination of materials—for example a glass jar with a metal cap. This would mean that manufacturers would have to place several logos alongside each other, which would only complicate matters for consumers.

Why do companies have to pay a contribution to Fost Plus?

All companies that bring packaged products onto the Belgian market are subject to the so-called take-back obligation. This means they are legally responsible for the sustainable processing of the packaging after the products are consumed. In practice, they can join Fost Plus as it would be very difficult to organize this themselves. They pay a contribution that is calculated based on the quantity of packaging that they bring onto the market and the materials they use for their packaging. Fost Plus uses these financial resources for processing the packaging in the most sustainable manner. Almost 90% of the packaging that is declared to Fost Plus is now recycled.

Is the Green Dot also used in other countries?

You can find the Green Dot logo on packages all over Europe. Fost Plus is part of PRO Europe (Packaging Recovery Organizations Europe), the umbrella organization of packaging organizations that are responsible for the collection and recycling of packaging in their country, like Fost Plus. All of the member organizations of PRO Europe use the Green Dot logo. PRO Europe is responsible for managing the licensing of the Green Dot logo and ensures that the logo is used as it should be.

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