Message from the Chair and the Director

No sooner had Valipac’s ambitious new accreditation been implemented than Fost Plus submitted its new accreditation application in mid-2023.

In anticipation of this, the Interregional Packaging Commission (IRPC) did the necessary preparatory work in 2022. A 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.

The three-yearly prevention plans were also due to be submitted in 2022. We provide an initial quantitative overview of these plans in this Activity Report.

European approval

In the meantime, Eurostat carried out its first, informal inspection visit to the IRPC for the purpose of ascertaining whether our figures and methodology comply with the European calculation method. The figures for 2020 were carefully checked, as this was the first year that the new European method for calculating recycling figures had to be applied.

We do, of course, always pay a great deal of attention to verifying the figures each year, but there was a major change in methodology for 2020 and a lot of new data also had to be collected and checked. Eurostat approved the Belgian figures without comment.

EPR and Litter Cooperation Agreement

There were also numerous consultations in 2022 about the future EPR and Litter Cooperation Agreement and the texts are gradually taking shape. The IRPC will take on a large number of new tasks and will also be completely restructured. Two sections will be created: the “decision-making body packaging” on the one hand and the “decision-making body EPR” on the other hand. In practical terms, the current Extended Producer Responsibility Interregional Platform (EPRIP) will be incorporated into the IRPC.

With this new dual structure in mind, the meetings of the decision-making body have already been split. Further communication with stakeholders on the amended Cooperation Agreement has been initiated. The IRPC will also change its name to the “Interregional EPR Commission”.

Staff and resources

The circumstances in which the IRPC carried out its wide range of tasks over the past year were truly challenging, to say the least. Despite the limited number of staff, an impressive amount of high-quality work was accomplished.

At our request, an external staff audit is currently under way. This will also quantify the staffing and resource requirements to carry out the additional tasks of the new EPR and Litter Cooperation Agreement.

Anneleen De Wachter, Chair

Marc Adams, Director