Polluted Packaging Logistics

The flow of packaged goods in the chemical sector is usually smaller than the flow of materials in bulk, but that doesn’t mean it is an easier one. Processing packagings like Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBC’s) or barrels is a complex business, influenced by many different factors. With this project VIL has researched it more efficient flows are possible.

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

Polluted barrels and Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs) can derive from the company’s own production or they can be delivered by a supplier. The flow of these packages is pretty continuous and predictable, but the materials, types of packages and locations are enormously fragmented. In many cases this fragmentation leads to high logistic costs and combustion. VIL has searched for specific possible solutions.


  • The use of standardized packages, horizontal collaboration or a collective pooling system between companies in the sector or a company cluster.
  • The valorization of synergy advantages between companies (cross-company collaboration) can be reinforcing for existing company clusters (e.g. the chemistry cluster in the port of Antwerp).
  • Finding profitable solutions for polluted packages which suppliers can offer their customers.
  • The provided insights must enable logistic service providers to hand a solution for this problem to production companies.


  • The logistics of packaging polluted with chemicals is a time consuming and costly business.
  • The flow is continuous and predictable, but the volumes are low and fragmented. 
  • Due to the low volumes and geografic fragmentation, it is not economically viable to start a consolidation hub.
  • Companies who wish to transport their polluted packages correctly, must comply with many rules, which sometimes are quite vague. 
  • A simplification of these rules is necessary. 
  • For this project VIL has developed a practical guide that shows companies what has to be done with which type of empty packaging. 


VIL members can download the report and practical guide (in Dutch) via the VIL library. Non-members can purchase both via our webshop

Practical details

Launch: June 2017
Total Lead time: 20 months

Participating companies

Thirtheen companies: 3M, Agfa Materials, BASF, Bebat, Christeyns, Indaver, Janus Vaten, Renewi, Suez, Trafuco, TWZ Group, Vanheede Environmental Logistics and VLS Group Belgium.

 agfa-gevaert basf bebat christeyns indaver  van-gansewinkel-nv-part-of-renewi sueztrafuco twz-group vanheede vls-group


In this project VIL can also count on the advice of Val-i-Pac, OVAM, Serred en Go4Circle.

VIL stands for a strong logistical Flanders

About VIL

Koninklijkelaan 76 - B-2600 Berchem
T: +32 3 229 05 00
E: info@vil.be
VAT: BE 0480.185.038
IBAN: BE59 0014 0122 5826