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All plastics to be recycled in blue bag starting in 2019

11:44 15/12/2017

In 2019, residents in Belgium can begin tossing all their plastic containers, as well as plastic wrap, in the blue PMD recycling bag. The bag can currently be used for plastic bottles, but not other plastic packages.

This means that plastic packaging from food products like margarine and yogurt can all go in the bag. Consumers will also be able to put plastic bags and soft plastic packaging – like what you might find around fresh produce – in the bag. Currently, all of that goes into the regular trash and gets incinerated.

There is only one exception, said a spokesperson for recycling centre Fost Plus: “Plastic packaging of dangerous products, like insecticide.”

Goodbye to 100,000 tons of emissions

Fost Plus needs the next year, the spokesperson said, to investigate how best to recycle the plastic. Recycled plastic can be used to make plastic pellets for new plastic products but also textiles and construction materials.

The company said that the new measure will mean another 70,000 tons of plastic will be recycled. Because it will no longer be burned, “it will eliminate up to 100,000 tons of CO2 emissions,” said the spokesperson.

The new service will be rolled out in phases starting on 1 January, 2019. It will be open to all Belgian residents by the end of 2020. The blue PMD bag is also used to recycle tin and aluminium cans, milk cartons and plastic lids.

Photo courtesy Environnement Bruxelles

Written by Lisa Bradshaw