Belgium has become a world champion when it comes to the sorting and recycling of household packaging waste. This leading position was achieved not only because the vast majority of Belgian citizens sort their waste in a very responsible manner, but also because Fost Plus has implemented an easy and efficient system. Each party involved has a clearly designated role to play. These parties include the citizens, producers and importers of packaged products and packaging, public authorities, municipalities and inter-municipal authorities, and the companies that collect, sort and recycle the packaging materials.

Fost Plus introduced the system of selective collection in 1994 and continues investing in its further optimization. Fost Plus actively encourages citizens to sort properly and respect the guidelines

Legal basis

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European Directive 2004/12/EC and the Cooperation Agreement between the three regions form the two pillars on which Fost Plus’s activities are founded. The Cooperation Agreement adapts the European Directive to the specific characteristics of Belgium and includes specific targets.

In Belgium, the Walloon Region, the Flemish Region, and the Brussels-Capital Region are responsible for waste management policy. In 1996, they agreed on a Cooperation Agreement on the prevention and management of packaging waste. A new version of the agreement came into force in 2009.

The Cooperation Agreement requires every company which has packaged or arranged for the packaging of products sold in Belgium to take back its used packaging in order to achieve the prescribed recycling and recovery rates:

  • 80% recycling and 90% recovery in total
  • a minimum of 15 to 60% recycling, depending on the packaging material.

Facts and figures

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Data 2012


Population 11 mil.
No. of local authorities

11 mil. inhabitants covered by system

589 municipalities

No. of companies in system 5,200 members
Packaging introduced to the market

750,000 tons

representing about 92% of all packaging materials brought onto the Belgian market

Recovered waste

700,000 tons of packaging are recycled

92% of the packaging collected is recycled

95% is recovered

Types of packaging Household packaging or equivalents

Packaging organisation/s in Belgium: