The total quantity of packaging placed on the Belgian market increased by 4.6 % in 2020 compared to 2019 and amounts to just over 1.9 million tonnes. Paper and cardboard account for 39 % of the total weight of packaging waste produced in Belgium. Glass (21%) and plastics (19%) are also two large groups.
79 % of packaging waste is recycled. Glass has a recycling rate of 97 %, but this is mainly due to the parallel imports of beverages whose packaging is not included in the total placed on the market but is nevertheless recycled. The recycling rate of metal packaging is 96 % and that of paper and cardboard 89 %.
"From reference year 2020, the methodology to calculate recycling of packaging waste has been fine-tuned. The amount of packaging waste generated in a European member state is equated to the amount of packaging placed on the market in that member state in the same year. This excludes exported packaging but includes imported packaging. Packaging waste that is exported may only be counted as recycled if there is evidence that it has been recycled as required by European legislation.”