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Preventpack is the result of a close collaboration between the public authorities and the business world. On the part of the authorities, both Belgium's three Regions and the Federal State are involved. On the part of business, the majority of sectors are represented.
• The Commission Interrégionale de l’Emballage / Interregional Packaging Commission (regional authorities)
• The Federal Ministry of Public Health, Food Chain Safety and the Environment (Federal authorities)
• The 'Emballages et déchets des emballages' / 'Packaging and packaging waste' platform, an economic interest group from the business world.
• Fost Plus, an officially approved management organisation for household packaging waste.
• VAL-I-PAC, an officially approved management organisation for industrial packaging waste.
The Commission Interrégionale de l’Emballage / Interregional Packaging Commission (CIE) is a public institution established in 1997. It monitors compliance with the Accord de Coopération / Cooperation Agreement on the prevention and management of packaging waste. In effect in all three Belgian Regions since 5 March 1997, this Cooperation Agreement defines the rights and obligations of all packaging stakeholders.
The CIE is made up of a steering committee and a standing secretariat responsible for technical and administrative tasks.
The main missions of the CIE are the following:
• to grant official approval to packaging waste management organisations;
• to monitor compliance with the take-back obligation by packaging producers and approved organisations;
• to evaluate prevention programmes introduced by packaging producers and the sectoral federations;
• to make sure the whole system functions properly.
In 1994, a basic right to environmental protection was inserted into the Belgian Constitution (Article 23), in the context of the universal right to lead a life worthy of human dignity.
The Ministry of Public Health, Food Chain Safety and the Environment - DG Environment is jointly responsible for environmental policy, together with the Regions.
The Royal Decree of 23 May 2001 creating the Ministry (MB 29/5/2001) accorded the DG Environment the following responsibilities:
• defining and coordinating environmental policy at national and interregional level;
• promoting sustainable production and consumption modes, with a special focus on integrated product policy.
Against the background of increasing regulatory initiatives at all governmental levels, the business confederations of the three Regions, the Flemish 'Vlaams Economisch Verbond' (VOKA), the Brussels 'Union des Entreprises de Bruxelles' (UEB), and the Walloon 'Union Wallonne des Entreprises' (UWE), as well as the Federation of Belgian Companies (Fédération des Entreprises belges (FEB)), took the initiative in 1997 to set up a permanent coordination framework: the joint 'Emballages et déchets des emballages' / 'Packaging and packaging waste' platform The intention of this platform is to ensure the consistency of and keep track of the positions held by the business world with regard to packaging and packaging waste at different government levels.
The platform has the following objectives:
• to define the business world's strategy vis-à-vis the political world on packaging and packaging waste;
• to prepare and facilitate the coordination of positions which employer organisations intend to defend vis-à-vis regional, federal and European authorities;
• to defend the collective interests or companies producing and using packaging.
The platform's secretariat is provided by the FEB.
As an officially approved organisation, Fost Plus is responsible for executing the take-back obligation of the household packaging waste producers belonging to the organisation.
In doing so, Fost Plus takes all measures necessary for promoting, coordinating and funding selective waste collections, sorting and recycling, with a view to achieving the recycling and recovery percentages imposed by the Cooperation Agreement.
Via this mission, Fost Plus actively contributes to improving the quality of the environment. The aim of Fost Plus is to stimulate and optimise cooperation between all stakeholders, a factor indispensable for achieving this target: citizens, authorities, producers of materials and packaging, packaging companies, distributors, waste management companies, the recycling chain and all other bodies or players concerned.
The non-profit organisation VAL-I-PAC is an officially approved organisation taking over (from packaging companies) responsibility for executing the take-back and information obligation with regard to industrial packaging waste. These obligations are set forth in the Cooperation Agreement.
The VAL-I-PAC system is open to all business sectors and to all types of packaging material.
Moreover, VAL-I-PAC fosters the selective sorting of industrial packaging waste via granting financial incentives to 'unpackers'.