- Daily & Weekly newsletters
- Buy & download The Bulletin
- Comment on our articles
Brussels adopts new blue recycling bags to include more plastic packaging
From now on, all plastic packaging will be able to go into PMC/PMD blue refuse bags. The bags, formerly reserved only for plastic bottles, metal and beverage cans, can be used for all plastic packaging, such as yoghurt containers, butter pots or potato chip bags, in Brussels as of this week.
The new blue bag is being introduced in a staggered manner, but it is already available in other parts of the country. Some Flemish municipalities have had this option for some time. To find out when this change will take place in your municipality, and what plastic products will be accepted, visit the website of waste agency Bruxelles Propreté.
"From next week, residents in the Brussels area will receive an information leaflet in their letterboxes, and as of this week there will also be radio commercials," said a spokesperson for Bruxelles Propreté.
The new bags have the same size and capacity as the old blue bags. They will also be sold through the same outlets as before. The existing blue bags remain valid, so you can simply throw in more types of plastic, including takeaway containers, tubes, plastic wrap or glossy magazines, in these until the new ones fully replace existing stocks. In most municipalities, the timing and frequency of collection will not change.
A few years ago, Fost Plus, the company responsible for the recycling of packaging in Belgium, announced that a new blue bag was on the way in which all plastic packaging could go. The roll-out of the new measure was expected to start in 2019 and be spread over two years.
In Brussels, that system would not be in place until 2020 or 2021, a spokesperson for then-secretary of state for public cleanliness Fadila Laanan said at the time. The sorting lines at recycling centres had to be adjusted, and it was not clear whether Fost Plus or the region should be responsible for this. That issue has now been resolved and all Belgian municipalities will now switch to the wider plastic collection guidelines during 2021.