Plastics Recycling Hub

The circular economy is very important in the transition to a sustainable society. The extensive Flemish chemical sector also has its eyes on a circular future. VIL and VITO, together with the logistics, recycling and chemistry sectors, want to take important steps in the development of Flanders as a plastics recycling hub for Europe.

status: Running | theme: Green Supply Chains | type: Regional

The transition to a circular economy is in full swing. Waste containing plastics represents an important stream for potential recycling activities with high added value on an economic and social level. Flanders, with a large presence of chemical and recycling companies, can play a prominent role in this. The chemical sector and the government are therefore fully committed to the transition to innovative, circular chemistry.

However, the supply of waste streams for recycling presents logistical challenges in a number of areas, ranging from collection and pre-treatment to organizing transport in an efficient and sustainable manner.


  • Flemish companies can take up an important position in innovative chemistry and thereby create new activities and considerable added value
  • Taking a lead in the transition to circular chemistry can strengthen the position of the sectors involved and guarantee their continued existence in a sustainable society

Specific activities

  • Identifying the steps that plastic-containing material fractions must undergo before they can serve as input for innovative recycling processes, their scale and how they can be collected and transported
  • Selecting those waste streams for which recycling activities are most feasible and can provide the greatest added value
  • Identifying synergies between the pre-waste chains of the selected waste streams, e.g. with regard to infrastructure, geographical spread, facilities, dismantling process and (logistical) players involved
  • Developing logistics models and concepts for integrated and optimized collection, pre-treatment and transport
  • Investigating how digitalization can be used to optimize these logistics chains and make them transparent
  • Working out a high level transport price calculation per type of product and per transport mode. What distances are still economically reasonable (per mode, form of transport, product)?
  • Developing the ecosystem with companies in the various sectors (chemistry, recycling, logistics)

Practical details

Start: November 2021
Einde: July 2023

Participating companies

22 companies: ADPO, BASF, Beaulieu International Group, Bionerga, CHEP, Covestro, Despriet Gebroeders (Looplife Polymers), Eastman, Euroports, Galloo, Haven Genk, Indaver, JoGo Logistics, POM Limburg, Port of Antwerp, Pre Zero, PSA Antwerp, Renasci, Renewi, Suez R&R BE Services, Triple Helix and Vanheede Environmental Logistics. 


Would you like to know more?

Contact Jan Merckx (

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