The Click conquers Antwerp

Pilot project in collaboration with Fost Plus encourages sorting outside the home

Thursday, July 1, 2021- Antwerp and Fost Plus are joining forces to keep the streets of Antwerp clean and tidy. The Click project encourages residents and visitors to throw their waste in the appropriate bins when they are outdoors. An innovative app has been developed for this purpose. The waste infrastructure was also reorganised to enable proper sorting. Every packaging that you throw in the correct bin can be scanned with your smartphone to save “Circular UCoins”, which can be used for purchases at local merchants.

Fost Plus launched the Click last summer in De Haan. Now the project is extended to the city centre of Antwerp. In short, it comes down to this: those who dispose of their waste properly are rewarded with Circular UCoins that can be used at local merchants. The project runs for one year in the neighbourhoods around the Meir, the student area (around the UA campus), the Scheldt quays and the Statiestraat (Berchem district) and will be continuously monitored and adjusted during this period.

Els van Doesburg, alderman for city and neighbourhood maintenance: ‘Litter is one of the biggest annoyances in our city, in shopping streets, residential areas, squares, parks and on the quays. Everyone knows that. City services do everything in their power to keep Antwerp clean. For example, just last month we started installing the new Mr Fills, the compacting super waste bins. But a change in mentality is also needed, a “click” as it were. The Click app makes this easier for everyone. I would like to encourage people to install the Click app and get started. In this way, everyone can help to ensure there’s less litter in the city.’

Waste removal = Circular UCoins for extras at local merchants

On the one hand, the project wants to create a change in mentality among citizens and visitors, encouraging them to dispose of their own waste correctly and also to clean up litter. In addition, the Click is committed to strengthening the infrastructure and logistics of waste collection. The local shopkeepers are also involved. The Circular UCoins that residents and visitors save when disposing of waste correctly can be exchanged for purchases in participating shops or when visiting a café or restaurant. If you do things right, you will be rewarded. Alderman for local shopkeepers Koen Kennis: ‘A clean city, and new customers for our entrepreneurs. That’s what I call a win-win.’

‘We would like people to make the mental “click” as well, so that litter disappears from the cityscape’, says Patrick Laevers, managing director at Fost Plus. ‘The Click is the missing link in achieving this, and is complementary to our existing initiatives to collect more packaging waste outside the home. This brings us one step closer to achieving our ambition: a circular economy for packaging.’

How does it work?

Via the Click app, you scan the barcode of every packaging that you collect outdoors and throw into the correct rubbish bin. This entitles you to save Circular UCoins that can be exchanged for an advantage at local merchants. The waste infrastructure has been adjusted to suit that purpose. On the one hand, you have the dual rubbish islands for PMD and residual waste, like the ones you can see in the train stations, so that you can sort your waste correctly when throwing it away. On the other hand, litter bins were placed in strategic places in streets and squares and were made to stand out. Waste that is collected there without sorting will be pre-sorted to recover a maximum amount of packaging for recycling. Both processes are part of Fost Plus’ strategy aimed at doubling the amount of PMD collected by 2023. During certain events or activities, we will put in place extra teams to encourage everyone to “click”.

For more information, visit www.the-click.be and www.the-click.app to download the app.


For more information about this press release:

City of Antwerpen: Michael Lescroart, phone 0485 15 28 66, michael.lescroart@antwerpen.be  

Fost Plus:  Valerie Bruyninck, phone 0471 75 83 12, valerie.bruyninckx@fostplus.be

Municipal councillor responsible for the project: Els van Doesburg, Municipal councillor for city and neighbourhood maintenance

 

About Fost Plus

Fost Plus is a non-profit organisation responsible for the selective collection, sorting and recycling of household packaging waste in Belgium. Through promotion, coordination and funding, we implement the circular packaging economy in practical terms. We recycle over 90% of the household packaging on the market every year thanks to the efficient collection of glass, paper-cardboard and PMD.

Packaging management has evolved firmly in the direction of sustainable materials management. To this end, we work closely with all parties concerned: companies, federations, authorities, municipalities and intermunicipal organisations, collection, sorting and recycling companies and the general public. Fost Plus was established in 1994 on the instigation of the companies and operates in all three regions of the country. Our mission enables us to attain the European objectives for sustainable waste management. www.fostplus.be