What do we see?
In terms of weight, we see that the evolution of the packaging put on the market has remained stable in recent years. Three quarters of this packaging is used for food and drink products. If we look at the different types of packaging, we see that glass accounts for the most weight.
What’s the aim?
Non-degradable waste streams are produced throughout the food chain, from the production to the consumption phase. As with types of organic residues, we need to avoid waste in the first place. If this is unavoidable, then we need to extract as much value as possible from it. For non-degradable waste, this can be achieved through prevention, reuse and recycling. There is an important role for eco-design here, where the end-of-life phase is already taken into account during production.
Food packaging is not the only form of non-degradable waste, but it is responsible for a large part of the waste produced by consumers. This is why we are only focusing on this currently. In a later phase, we will also look at other non-degradable waste streams (e.g. commercial packaging).
Although in a circular model we aim for less waste, it is not easy to eliminate all food packaging. Not only does packaging offer the opportunity to communicate information about the food to the consumer, it also safeguards the quality of the product. If we cannot do without packaging, it is important to look for high-quality recyclable materials.
In the context of monitoring the circular economy, it would be interesting to have more details about this, such as the extent to which recyclable materials are used and what their material footprint is.
What does this indicator measure?
This indicator shows the evolution of the weight of packaging placed on the market. European legislation provides that companies are responsible for the consumer packaging they put on the market and that they must report on this. To facilitate that process, most companies use Fost Plus for their reporting. Since this organisation operates on a Belgian level, the data we use here refers to the whole of Belgium.