3. Fost Plus

3.1 Preparation for the new accreditation

Fost Plus submitted its new accreditation application in mid-2023. In 2022 the IRPC began setting out its expectations for this application. In this way, the IRPC hopes to engage in consultations with Fost Plus and stakeholders as soon as possible.

In preparation for the new accreditation, a new paper/cardboard study was initiated to re-analyse the composition of the paper/cardboard stream and split the cost of collecting this stream between packaging waste and non-packaging waste. We also worked on the eco-modulation of rates, in particular the deterrent rate for packaging that hampers recycling or that cannot be recycled, and on payment for packaging in hazardous household packaging streams.

3.2 Sorting and recycling

The new, expanded blue bag has been used throughout Belgium since the end of 2021. Since 2023 this bag has been sorted into a minimum of 16 fractions in brand-new sorting plants, with the aim of ensuring recycling of the highest possible quality. The new sorting facilities came into operation in 2021 and 2022.

The fractions concerned are:

  • Transparent PET bottles, colourless
  • Transparent PET bottles, blue
  • Transparent PET bottles, other colours
  • Opaque PET (bottles)
  • PET trays
  • HDPE
  • PP
  • PS
  • Mixed PO
  • PE films
  • Other films
  • Drink cartons
  • Ferrous metals
  • Aluminium
  • Small aluminium
  • Residue

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 made possible by the construction of new recycling plants, which are either already up and running or are due to start up in 2023 and 2024.

3.2.1 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. A fifth started up early in 2023: Sitel (Engis).


  • Willebroek
  • Operational since December 2020
  • Annual tonnage: 60,000 tonnes


  • Couillet (Charleroi)
  • Operational since June 2021
  • Annual tonnage: 40,000 tonnes


  • Ghlin (Bergen)
  • Operational since fourth quarter of 2021
  • Annual tonnage: 50,000 tonnes


  • Evergem
  • Operational since January 2021
  • Annual tonnage: 78,000 tonnes


  • Engis (Hermalle-sous-Huy)
  • Operational since first quarter of 2023
  • Annual tonnage: nearly 40,000 tonnes

Vanheede’s existing sorting plant (Rumbeke) is also used to sort the new PMD fraction and specialises, among other things, in sorting PMD collected from companies and post-sorting PMD residues.

3.2.2 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
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
  • Annual tonnage: 35,000 tonnes


Ecoo Beringen
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 May 2022
  • Annual tonnage: 42,000 tonnes


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

  • Couillet (Charleroi)
  • Operational since 2023
  • Annual tonnage: 40,000 tonnes

Mopet Belgique
Recycling of PET trays, transparent PET bottles, blue, transparent PET bottles, other colours 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 in Lommel for PP and HDPE and will be operational by the end of 2024.

3.2.3 Recycling situation in 2021

Currently, Fost Plus packaging waste is already recycled only in the European Union and 82% is even recycled in Belgium.

In the case of plastic packaging waste, only 10% of recycling took place in Belgium in 2021 (at one recycling centre). This is because many of our new recycling plants were still under construction.