Spadel calls for mass mobilization to improve collection and recycling of drinks packaging

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Brussels, 27 September 2019 –
A pioneer of sustainable development in the Benelux region and leader in the field of natural mineral water, the Spadel group urges caution with regard to the collection and recycling of drinks packaging in Belgium. Without change, the drinks sector will not meet European goals for the recycling of plastic bottles and the use of recycled materials. Spadel is therefore calling on all those directly concerned to begin discussions as soon as possible and find new solutions to help meet a better quality and significantly higher rate of collection and recycling.

To better preserve the planet’s resources and combat climate change, it is essential to promote the circular economy. For this reason, Spadel has launched its “Source of Change” programme, under which the group undertakes to collect 100% of its commercial packaging and use 100% re-used or recycled materials in its packaging by 2025. Spadel is also committed to fighting against litter more effectively and putting partnerships in place for optimal waste separation in order to significantly increase the quality of recycled materials.

Belgium has had a household waste separation and recycling system in place for a number of years. However, it must be recognised that this system has now reached its limits. The current system does not allow efficient collection of drinks packaging outside of the home or the optimal separation of packaging following the bottle-to-bottle principle which enables all producers to collect the bottles they put on the market. This principle of bottle-to-bottle separation is essential to guarantee high-quality recycled plastic (rPET) while also preserving the purity of the product. However, due to the present lack of quality in this regard, Spadel is unable to use recycled materials in its packaging.

Several solutions possible

“Everyone knows we have to take action to protect our planet as a matter of urgency”, emphasised Bart Peeters, Country Director of Spadel Benelux. “To make rapid progress, we are calling for the broadest possible dialogue to be initiated in order to research effective solutions to help increase the collection rate, the quality of recycled material and circular packaging. As far as we’re concerned, only a new approach can make this possible. But this approach will only work if all actors – producers and distributors, collection and recycling organisations, political representatives, associations and citizens – engage in discussions on the best response to this enormous challenge.”

What could this response be? The solutions that would facilitate an improvement in the collection and recycling of packaging as a whole include, in particular, the establishment of a deposit system for drinks packaging, a network of machines offering a return premium for PET cans and bottles, or even a bottle-to-bottle collection and recycling system, like the current system in Austria.


About Spadel Spadel is a European family group whose mission is to offer consumers natural solutions to their hydration and refreshment needs throughout their lives. It markets brands of natural mineral water, source water and refreshing, natural mineral water-based drinks: SPA and Bru in Benelux, Devin in Bulgaria, Wattwiller and Carola in France and Brecon Carreg in the United Kingdom. Sustainable development is, of course, part of the Spadel group’s DNA and is defined in its CSR 2025 policy. In 2018, Spadel achieved a turnover of €314.4 million. At the end of 2018, the Spadel group employed 1,345 people.

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