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: Closed | 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


  • Several recycling hubs, each specialized in specific material streams: in this way, plastic-containing waste can be recycled in an effective and efficient way
  • A recycling hub, focused on one or more material streams, can give the current geographically dispersed and industrially fragmented activities an impetus to integrate so that technical, logistical and operational strengths are optimized.
  • Inland navigation in Flanders offers some important advantages to successfully establish these hubs. For example, buffers can easily be built up and decoupling of production and logistics is possible. Moreover, transport and processing speed is not of great importance with these waste streams.
  • The price calculations performed by Multimodaal.Vlaanderen in this project show that further optimization and orchestration of the flows are needed before multimodal transport also becomes economically beneficial.
  • The right recycling infrastructure tailored to these waste streams is currently under construction. The legal framework is also evolving. This indicates that both industry, and government believe in the future of the circular economy.


Practical details

Start: November 2021
End: July 2023

Participating companies

23 companies: ADPO, BASF, Beaulieu International Group, Belgian Scrap Terminal, Bionerga, CHEP, Covestro, Despriet Gebroeders (Looplife Polymers), Eastman Chemical Company, Euroports, Galloo, Haven Genk, Indaver, JoGo Logistics, POM Limburg, Port of Antwerp-Bruges, Pre Zero, Renewi, Triple Helix, Twintag, Vanheede Environmental Logistics, Van Werven België and Veolia.
































Would you like to know more?
Contact Jan Merckx (

VIL stands for strong logistics in Flanders


De Burburestraat 6-8
B-2000 Antwerpen (Belgium)
T: +32 3 229 05 00
VAT: BE 0480.185.038