Brussels Airport Waste Charter

Brussels Airport, its partners and Fost Plus relaunch their collaboration to double the recycling rate of waste at the airport

December 7, 2022

The participating airport companies and Fost Plus are again joining forces to prevent waste and improve waste sorting and recycling. In 2019, several airport partners had already signed the Brussels Airport Waste Charter in which they explicitly chose to apply the principles of circular economy and commit to reducing waste at the airport. Because of the lower activity at the airport during the COVID-19 crisis, the collaboration was put on hold. But today the partners have renewed their commitment:  by 2025 they aim to recycle at least 50% of the waste at the airport - including passenger waste, which is almost twice the current recycling rate.

The 24,000 employees and 70,000 passengers who set foot in the airport every day generate about fifteen truck loads of waste every day. Plastic bottles, food waste, wastepaper, etc. As many sorts of waste that do not always get put in the right bin, leading to waste not being recycled. The many foreign travellers are often not well informed about the Belgian sorting system. As for Belgian passengers, they are not always aware of the sorting possibilities outside of their homes.

A Waste Charter with ambitious goals

In 2019, the Brussels Airport Waste Charter was launched. The COVID pandemic considerably reduced the activity at the airport. This resulted in less waste being generated and fewer staff present. However, circularity remains a top priority, which is why the waste charter is revived. On 6 December, several airport partners including Brussels Airport Company, Fost Plus, Air Cargo Belgium, Autogrill, Aviapartner, Brussels Airlines, DHL, DSV, G4S, Gate Gourmet, Interparking, Lagardère, Mobility Masters, OVAM, TUI Belgium, Vebego, Veolia, Skytanking and Ziegler subscribed to the objectives of the Brussels Airport Waste Charter.

The purpose of this charter is to apply the principles of a circular economy to the largest possible extent. To this end, it is important to choose reusable and recyclable products or materials and to properly sort, reuse and recycle all waste.

All signatory airport partners also undertake to make their staff and passengers aware of how to properly sort waste. The final objective of this Waste Charter is to increase the recycling rate of waste generated at the airport to at least 50% by 2025.

Fost Plus, in collaboration with Brussels Airport Company, will conduct an audit at each signatory airport partner to map the current waste sorting organisation. Each company will then receive a tailored action plan to achieve the objectives of the Brussels Airport Waste Charter.

Sinks for the disposal of liquids:  concrete pilot project

Companies are not alone in their commitment to better sorting and recycling. Brussels Airport and Fost Plus also want to educate passengers and help them sort better, because only properly sorted waste follows the recycling path.

Before, bottles that were not completely empty often ended up in the sorting bins at security screening. That’s why Brussels Airport has placed sinks before the screening lanes so that passengers can empty their bottles before disposing of them in the blue bins. This will see more plastic bottles recycled.

At the same time, Brussels Airport encourages passengers to use as few plastic bottles as possible by offering them alternative solutions, including reusable bottles, water fountains and a free water stand.