2. Valipac

On 2 December 2021 the IRPC granted a new five-year accreditation to Valipac, the organisation responsible for managing industrial and commercial packaging waste.

In order to achieve a circular economy, the IRPC set Valipac ambitious targets in terms of selective collection, recycling within Europe, prevention, eco-modulation, circularity, reuse of industrial and commercial packaging, and transparency of the treatment channels.

In 2022 the first steps were taken to implement the new accreditation.

Standard contracts for operators and traders

During the first six months of the accreditation period 2022-2026, Valipac set about extensively revising the contract with the operators, in line with the accreditation.

More intensive cooperation with packaging waste traders meant that a new standard contract had to be drawn up. Two standard contracts were eventually approved: one for plastic waste traders and the other for paper and cardboard traders (temporary approval).

Valipac cumulative bonuses for operators and traders

Since 2022, operators and traders have been entitled to additional payments to achieve high-quality plastic recycling in Europe:

  • a bonus for recycling within the European Union (20 EUR/tonne);
  • a bonus for recycling in Belgium or its immediate vicinity (10 EUR/tonne);
  • a bonus for recycling at EuCertPlast-certified recyclers (5 EUR/tonne).

These bonuses are cumulative and are granted to operators and traders who can prove that they have had industrial and commercial packaging waste of Belgian origin recycled in the EU.

The new bonus system ensures close monitoring of the treatment channels involved. Valipac thus remains a pioneer in Europe and is also keeping in touch with recycling worldwide.

Prevention and reuse action plans

In accordance with the conditions of its accreditation, Valipac submitted an action plan that proposes pilot projects with support measures. All of the projects are being developed in collaboration with the Belgian Regions and relevant sectors. Two projects got under way in 2022:

  • selective collection and recycling of PU aerosols;
  • film-to-film recycling.

A detailed communication plan will support the subsequent rollout of the pilot projects that are selected after analysis.

As part of the action plan, Valipac is also carrying out benchmark analyses for and in collaboration with the main sector federations.

2.1 Results of mapping 2021

As part of the mapping exercise, Valipac reports to the IRPC on the final destinations of plastic streams.

Mapping systematically documents the recycling channel, from the collector and trader to the final recycler. The channel was fully mapped for a total of 63 kilotonnes of industrial and commercial plastic packaging waste. This waste was recycled in Europe, Asia or Turkey. The total quantity recorded rose by 6,700 tonnes to 63,176 tonnes in 2021. The increase compared with 2020 was due to Europe (+ 2,900 tonnes) and Asia (+ 4,500 tonnes), while Turkey saw a slight decline (- 830 tonnes).

These tonnages represent 99% of all industrial and commercial plastic packaging waste sent for recycling by operators under contract with Valipac. Valipac is therefore well on the way to achieving 100% traceability, as stipulated in the new accreditation.

On the basis of contracts with 17 plastic traders, Valipac conducted 35 audits in Turkey and Asia in 2021 and 2022. Valipac and the IRPC are working together to evaluate the results and develop the future audit strategy.

2.2 Overview of final recycling destinations

The figures below have been provided by accredited compliance organisation Valipac. Those for plastic are obtained from mapping and are therefore particularly accurate. In future, mapping will be extended to more and more materials.