Extended producer responsibility of packaging in Belgium

Tine Cattoor, Secretary-General, Lubricants Association Belgium

The collection and recycling of empty packaging of oils is regulated by an extended producer responsibility in Belgium. Companies bringing motor oils or lubricants in household or industrial packaging onto the Belgian market can join Fost Plus and/or Valipac to take over the take-back, recycling and information obligations regarding the packaging. Fost Plus is responsible for promoting, coordinating and financing the selective collecting, sorting and recycling of all household packaging waste in Belgium. Valipac is the accredited organisation for the extended producer responsibility applied to commercial and industrial packaging waste.

The distinction is clear if the product is used exclusively in a household or industrial environment. However, as this is not always the case, like for motoroils and fuel additives, the threshold for household packaging has been set at smaller or equal to 10 litres (meaning participation in Fost Plus) and above 10 litres for industrial packaging of motoroils and fuel additives (meaning participation in Valipac).

The Green Dot symbol indicates that the company bringing the product to the market is a member of Fost Plus, and pays a contribution towards the selective collection, sorting and recycling of household packaging, depending on the quantity and the type of packaging and whether it is considered hazardous or not. As empty packaging of lubricating oils, fuels, engine oils and mineral oils are considered hazardous waste, and costs to treat hazardous waste has increased, contributions have increased to 1.1133 €/kg for 2021, compared to 0.2114 €/kg for steel and 0.3647 €/kg for HDPE.

Contributions to Valipac are currently set at 14.50 €/tonne for metal, 39.50 €/tonne for plastics and


53 €/tonne for non-recyclable materials. Reusable packaging does not have to contribute (but still needs to be declared annually).

Extended producer responsibility for used oils The extended producer responsibility (EPR) for used oil in Belgium is regulated in regional environmental policy agreements. Valorlub is the management body for the acceptance obligation of used oils, appointed by producers and importers bringing oils (in canisters, barrels, bulk or as an integral part of a finished product (e.g. a vehicle)) on the market in Belgium. Valorlub does not collect used oil itself, but works together with the various players on the market for the collection and processing of used oil.

As a producer and/or importer of oil you pay an annual contribution to Valorlub. This contribution depends on the quantities and type of oil that you place on the Belgian market. The contribution serves to finance the implementation of the EPR: reimbursement of the costs for the collection and processing of used oil at waste collection parks and at companies; achieving the objectives set by the legislator (maximum collection, priority for regeneration and reuse, etc.) and raising awareness among users about handling their used oil correctly. Contributions are currently set at 0.22 €/l for domestic oils for the consumer market and 0,02€/l for oils for the professional market generation used oil, but expected to raise in the coming years due to the increase in collection costs.


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