3

Fost Plus: status of the new sorting and recycling plants

Sorting and recycling

The new, expanded blue bag has been in use throughout Belgium since the end of 2021. This bag is sorted into a minimum of 14 fractions, in brand-new sorting plants, with the aim of ensuring recycling of the highest possible quality. The new sorting facilities either came into operation in 2021 or will be brought on line in 2022.

The high-quality fractions that come out of the new sorting plants must also be recycled to the highest possible standards.

Fost Plus has therefore arranged new recycling contracts for plastics to ensure that recycling is as circular as possible. At the same time, steps have been taken to maximise the amount of recycling carried out in Belgium. This will be possible thanks to the construction of new recycling plants, which will come into operation in 2022 and 2023.

3.1.1 Sorting plants

The expanded PMD stream will be sorted entirely in Belgium. Four new sorting plants have already been built for this purpose, spread across the country, with a fifth due to start up at the end of 2022: Sitel (Engis).

Indaver

  • Willebroek
  • operational since December 2020
  • annual tonnage: 60,000 tonnes

Valtris

  • Couillet (Charleroi)
  • operational since March 2020
  • annual tonnage: 40,000 tonnes

Val’Up

  • Ghlin (Mons)
  • operational since fourth quarter of 2021
  • annual tonnage: 50,000 tonnes

Prezero

  • Evergem
  • operational since January 2021
  • annual tonnage: 78,000 tonnes

Sitel

  • Engis (Hermalle-sous-Huy)
  • operational fourth quarter of 2022
  • annual tonnage: nearly 40,000 tonnes

The existing sorting plant Vanheede (Rumbeke) will also be used to sort the new PMD fraction and will specialise in sorting PMD collected from companies and post-sorting PMD residues.

3.1.2 Recycling plants

The various plastic streams are processed to a high standard thanks to the existence of new (or rebuilt) recycling centres in Belgium and the fact that long-term contracts have been signed. Belgium is thus focusing on recycling within its national borders to ensure optimal quality and control.

Ecoo Houthalen (mixed plastics recycling plant)

Recycling of mixed plastics: MPO (mixed polyolefins) and mixed films (other than PE films). Mixed films and MPO plastics are recycled into MPO regranulate (400-2000 microns), MPO agglomerate and regrind for industrial applications, such as compost bins, sustainable garden edging and benches.

  • Houthalen-Helchteren
  • New line operational since January 2021
  • Compounder operational since August 2021
  • Annual tonnage: 35,000 tonnes

Ecoo Beringen (PE film-to-film recycling)

PE film-to-film recycling. Household packaging films are turned into bin liners and packaging films or used for other film applications.

  • Beringen
  • Operational since June 2022
  • Annual tonnage: 42,000 tonnes

Filao (ex-Suez-Alma) (PET recycling)

Recycling of PET bottles. The bottles will be transformed into high-quality recycled PET for food-safe applications. The recycled PET, or rPET, will then be placed back on the Belgian market by being used for the bottled water of various Sources Alma brands and the brands of their retail partners.

  • Couillet (Charleroi)
  • Operational in December 2022
  • Annual tonnage: 40,000 tonnes

Mopet Belgique (PET recycling)

Recycling of PET trays and blue, coloured, clear and opaque PET bottles. The PET trays will become new PET trays, and the bottles will be turned into new bottles. Very high percentages of these products are re-entering the Belgian market.

  • Neufchâteau
  • Operational in 2024
  • Annual tonnage: 28,000 tonnes

A new recycling plant is also being built for PP and HDPE.

3.1.3 Recycling situation in 2020

Currently, Fost Plus packaging waste is already recycled only in the European Union and 78.9 % is even recycled in Belgium.

Material Belgium France Germany The Netherlands Spain Italy Switzerland UK lithuania Latvia Total %
Glass 88.9 % 0.0 % 4.1 % 7.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 100.0 %
Paper/Cardboard 98.9 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.1 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 100.0 %
Drink cartons 0.0 % 14.1 % 46.6 % 0.0 % 39.3 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 100.0 %
Metals 95.7 % 0.0 % 4.1 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.2 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 100.0 %
Plastic 2.9 % 17.6 % 19.5 % 51.4 % 7.8 % 0.17 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.3 % 0.3 % 100.0 %
Total 78.9 % 2.6 % 6.0 % 10.4 % 2.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 100.0 %

In the case of plastic packaging waste, 2.9 % of recycling took place in Belgium in 2020 (at one recycling centre). 

Details of domestic plastic recyclers

Belgian recycling centres and waste streams:

Recycling centre Type of plastic
Ecoo Recycling Mixed plastics (including small amounts of plastic films and polypropylene)

 

European recycling centres and waste streams:

Country Type of plastic Recycling rate
The Netherlands Clear PET, blue PET, green PET, HDPE, polypropylene, PET trays, plastic films 51.4 %
Germany Clear PET, blue PET, green PET, other colours of PET, HDPE, PET trays 19.5 %
France Clear PET, blue PET, green PET, other colours of PET, HDPE, polypropylene, PET trays, plastic films 17.6 %
Spain Plastic films 7.8 %
Belgium Mixed plastics, plastic films, polypropylene 2.9 %
Lithuania Clear PET, blue PET 0.32 %
Latvia Clear PET 0.31 %
Italy Plastic films 0.17 %
Switzerland Other colours of PET 0.04 %
Total 100 %