Take-back (i.e. recycling and recovery) obligation

Who does it apply to?

Companies that place more than 300 kg of household and industrial/commercial packaging on the Belgian market per year.

What does the take-back obligation mean for my company?

Your company must be able to demonstrate annually that at least 80% of the packaging in question has been recycled and that 85% recovery is achieved (recycling + recovery with energy recovery). These have been the targets since 2010.

Your company must also achieve at least the following recycling rates for the different packaging materials:

  • 60% by weight for glass
  • 60% by weight for paper/cardboard
  • 60% by weight for drink cartons
  • 50% by weight for metals
  • 30% by weight for plastics, counting only materials that are recycled as plastics
  • 15% by weight for wood

Example:

 If your company is responsible for 10 tonnes of household packaging, you must demonstrate that at least 8 tonnes have been recycled and that at least 1 tonne has been (additionally) recycled or recovered (e.g. with energy recovery).

To give a more specific example, suppose that the quantities involved are 8 tonnes of paper/cardboard and 2 tonnes of plastic. In that case, your company will have to be able to demonstrate that it has recycled (or has had recycled) at least 4.8 tonnes of paper/cardboard and 0.6 tonnes of plastic. 

How can my company comply with the take-back obligation?

You have two options:

1. Join an accredited compliance organisation

You can comply with your statutory obligations by joining an accredited compliance organisation, which will then take care of the formalities for you.

Valipac is the accredited compliance organisation for industrial & commercial packaging.

Fost Plus is the accredited compliance organisation for household packaging.

If your packaging is found in companies as well as in households, you must join both organisations.

2. Report to the IRPC yourself

If you wish to comply with your statutory obligation yourself, you must collect proof of the recycling and recovery of the packaging for which your company is responsible, and provide that proof to the Interregional Packaging Commission (IRPC). You can do this online via the “packaging declaration”.

You may consider submitting your own declaration if:

  • your company is only responsible for type C packaging
  • your company organises the take-back (i.e. recycling and recovery) of its packaging waste from its customers itself

Click here for more information on online reporting (available in Dutch, French or German).

Interregional Packaging Commission (IRPC)