Your pictures can end double packaging!

In July last year we revealed Colruyt as the biggest polluter of the Brussels canal followed by a campaign in December where we counted 171 different types of products with double plastic packaging in one Colruyt alone. Packaging with only one goal, sell more. Supermarkets and producers have a major responsibility in the plastic pollution crisis. The material is everywhere, it pollutes rivers, canals, forests and oceans and forms a serious risk for animals and ourselves. That’s why we call on everyone to not buy and report products that are double wrapped in plastic.

After our last campaign we were invited by Colruyt for a long and interesting meeting. The unfortunate conclusion of the meeting is that the company has no plans to stop using the double plastic packaging because of economical reasons, it simply makes them too much money. Neither is there a real plan to reduce single-use packaging nor to introduce packaging-free products in their shops. But Colruyt is not the only supermarket with double or excessive plastic packaging or a lack of vision to more sustainable consumption, all big supermarkets can be found guilty.

Examples of double plastic packaging (multipacks to sell more).

We are in trouble, other than ocean pollution plastic contains toxic additives, it brakes down into microplastics which have been found in livers, lungs, placenta’s and blood vessels, it contributes to global warming, it harms animals and multipacks with double packaging lead to overconsumption and more food waste. It is time to stop the ever fastening production of plastic packaging.

Don’t buy overpacked products and report double packaging when you see it!

Canal It Up, Recycling Netwerk Benelux, Proper Strand Lopers and Gents Milieufront teamed up together to launch a new campaign about double packaging through involvement of consumers. These consumers have the power to make retailers change their ways. A recent report by Recycling Netwerk on packaging waste prevention and reuse in Belgium identified empowered consumers as a powerful group to demand a reduction in packaging. We encourage everyone in Belgium to not buy overpacked products anymore and to take a picture of overpackaging or double packaging and upload it at the website of Fost Plus.

As Fost Plus is a Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO), they oversee and implement packaging waste regulations on behalf of producers. Members pay Fost Plus to take care of the responsibility of packaging sustainability. The role of Fost Plus should also be to work with producers on preventing litter by changing their packaging and packaging systems.

Click on the poster above to upload your pictures through the form of Fost Plus.

The government asks of Fost Plus to provide an online form where consumers can report cases of overpackaging. On the form, consumers can send in a photo and a description of the double packaging they have found in a supermarket or other vending point. Fost Plus then needs to look into it and contact the responsible supermarket or producer. However, the form seems quite hard to find, and in 2023 there were only 10 submissions, except for the 171 Colruyt products we also uploaded to the website.

Therefore we call upon everybody, firstly, to not buy overpacked products anymore and secondly to take pictures of double packaging in order to upload it to the Fost Plus website, one picture is already enough. With this campaign we hope to reach the supermarkets and producers and oblige them to change their practices to end unnecessary plastic packaging. Because we’re not able to see how many pictures will be uploaded to the website it would help if the same pictures would be uploaded to social media with the #EndDoublePackaging.

Together we can end overpackaging and plastic pollution!

This is a joint action by these five organizations: