LIFE Project Cover Photo

Circular Material Approach on Residual waste Targets and a Litter Free Environment

Reference: LIFE19 IPE/BE/000008 | Acronym: LIFE-IP C-MARTLIFE



For Belgium, a 92.8% recycling rate has been obtained for all household packaging waste, and the recycling rate of industrial packaging has been raised to 88.8%. Flanders has fully banned household waste landfilling and significantly reduced the share of waste incineration. In parallel, recycling and reuse of waste streams are gradually improving.

However, waste prevention and management need innovation and knowledge investment to make additional improvements towards the defined goals. With plastic becoming an increasing part of our waste, the importance of tackling thisspecific waste stream is obvious. The Flemish government has developed a Plastics Action Plan which came into force in 2020. It aims to reach the targets of the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy. The Plastics Action Plan is one of the execution plans of the Flemish Waste and Material Decree which implements the European Waste Framework Directive. Together with its implementing regulation this decree covers the management of waste with a focus on sustainable materials management, considering the chain of materials used for a service or product as a whole.


The LIFE-IP C-MARTLIFE project will implement Flemish Waste Management policy, with a specific focus on accelerating and reinforcing the Plastics Action Plan. This will be achieved with innovative and effective approaches that prevent the loss of recyclable plastic in household and industrial waste, developing a strong collaboration between all waste stakeholders.

Project actions aim at closing material loops (through recycling and reuse), slowing down the loops (through increased product lifetime), and narrowing the loops (using less raw materials). These actions can be grouped under four topics: (i) reduction and efficient use of plastics; (ii) prevention of plastic litter; (iii) creating a sustainable recycling market for plastics; and (iv) stimulating plastic recyclate as a fully-fledged raw material. The project aims to expand its actions in the Flemish region, and over the entire Belgian territory through inter-regional and national partners.

More specifically, the project aims at:

  • Raising awareness regarding prevention of food waste and plastic litter waste mismanagement, and promoting knowledge on sustainable development and new patterns for sustainable consumption and production;
  • Promoting better environmental governance by broadening stakeholder involvement in consultation on and implementation of policy, including the organisation of green deals for the Construction, and Distribution sectors, and for Circular procurement and Plastics production and consumption;
  • Supporting communication, management and replication of successful environmental solutions and practices, creating a sustainable recycling market for plastics, and developing solutions to increase the recycling rate with closed loops for plastics in food packaging, textile, construction (CDW), and for marine litter; and
  • Contributing to more effective compliance with and enforcement of EU environmental legislation, in particular by promoting the development and dissemination of best practices and policy approaches.

    The project targets a range of EU policy, including the Waste Framework Directive, European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy, Circular Economy Action Plan 2020 (as part of the European Green Deal), Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, Landfill Directive, Waste Incineration Directive, and the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) legislation.

    In addition to the IP budget itself, the project will facilitate the coordinated use of 187 346 000 EUR of complementary funding from ERDF (4 900 000), Horizon 2020 (6 100 000), and Flemish (50 046 000) and private funds (126 300 000).


    Expected results:

  • Diminish household and industrial waste by an additional 15% by 2027, through better collection and recycling of plastic waste fraction;
  • Reduced material footprint of consumption by 20% by 2027, 30% by 2030;
  • Significantly prevent plastic waste mismanagement with a 75% reduction of the emission of litter (mainly plastics) into the ocean by 2025, and achieve litter-free beaches in all coastal communities by 2027;
  • Significantly reduced litter, through a 90% collection of drink packaging by 2022;
  • Increased recycling rate with closed loops by 80% for plastics in food packaging, textile, construction, and for marine litter in pilot area;
  • Regulation on use of single-use catering material at events and for governments;
  • All packaging is reusable, recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025, with 25% and 50% recycled content in PET-bottles by 2022, respectively 2025;
  • A Green deal on waste prevention in the distribution sector;
  • A Green deal inthe construction and demolition sector;
  • Increased recycling rate of construction and demolition waste by up to 70% for companies signing the green deal;
  • Integration/identification of different plastic types in the material passport of buildings;
  • Reduced food waste in Flemish region by 10-20% by 2022;
  • Reduced residual waste of participating entities (using charter agreements), such as airports, clinics, retail, industrial zones, by 25% by 2025;
  • Avoidance of greenhouse gas emissions due to a reduction in waste generation (and incineration) by up to 30% by 2027;
  • Increased involvement of local stakeholders in networking, education and co-creation activities, to 400 stakeholders at the project end;
  • Collaboration with adjacent regions (Brussels and Wallonia in Belgium, and the Netherlands) to roll-out the approach over a larger territory. Developed tools/approaches applied in 5 countries by the end of the project, and 5 more countries 3 years after the end of the project.

    Reference: LIFE19 IPE/BE/000008
    Start Date: 01/04/2020
    End Date: 31/12/2027
    Total Eligible Budget: 18,040,744 €
    EU Contribution: 10,824,447 €
    Project Location:


    Legal Status: PUBLIC
    Contact Person: Kris VAN LOOY
    Email: Send Email

    LIFE Project Map



    • Improved legislative compliance and enforcement
    • Packaging and plastic waste
    • Waste recycling
    • Circular economy and Value chains


    • policy integration
    • waste recycling
    • waste reduction
    • plastic waste
    • reuse of materials
    • marine pollution
    • packaging
    • consumer information


    • Directive 75/442/EEC -"Waste framework directive" (15.07.1975)
    • Directive 1999/31 - Landfill of waste (26.04.1999)
    • Directive 2012/19 - Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) (04.07.2012)
    • Directive 2004/12 - Amending Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste (11.02.2004 )
    • COM(2015)614 - "Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy" (02.12.2015)
    • Directive 2000/76 - Incineration of waste (04.12.2000)


    Name Type
    Westtoer Intermunicipal organisation for the coastal communities-Belgium Participant
    Denuo (formerly Go4Circle) Belgian Federation of the Waste and Recycling sector Participant
    VVSG-Interafval Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities-Belgium Participant
    Valipac Sector Organisation for packaging and industrial waste-Belgium Participant
    Fost Plus Sector Organisation for selective collection and prevention of household waste-Belgium Participant