Our Approach / Strategic Agendas

werkagenda waterkringlopen


The chemicals and plastics sector provides the building blocks for the circular economy and a sustainable energy transition. But the road is still long. We need to work together on a sustainable future for plastics. Remain committed to the safety of chemicals for people and the environment.

Our country is world champion in chemicals and plastics by per capita turnover. The strong concentration of chemical companies, research institutes and sorting centres also provides our region with a unique opportunity to take the lead in circular chemistry and plastics.

That is why we are investing in the Chemistry/Plastics strategic agenda. The strategic agenda is an opportunity, in the very dynamic playing field of circular chemistry and plastics, to fine-tune the various actions. The strategic agenda can be the glue of a coherent whole, in which we reinforce each other and accelerate the circular transition.

Context of the Flemish chemicals and plastics sector:

A story of assets and opportunities


The Flemish chemicals and plastics sector represents a fifth of employment in Belgian industry with 210,000 direct and indirect jobs.



With nearly 43 billion euros of turnover, it accounts for about 25% of Belgian industry, and with 15 billion euros accounts for more than a third of Belgian added value.



At €2.6 billion, it accounts for 2/3rds of R&D investment in Belgian industry.



About €2 billion annually or 21% of investments by Belgian industry.



95% of products on the European market are linked to chemicals, materials or processes. The chemicals and plastics sector provides high-tech substances, mixtures and materials for almost all value chains.



With a circular materials use rate of 23%, Belgium is doing a lot better than the European average of 12.8%. Plastics are increasingly collected and recycled in Flanders, ranging from 43% for packaging to 28% for electronic appliances or construction waste. Yet this does not yet lead to the desired high level of circular plastics use as only 6% recyclate was used by Belgian plastics processors in 2018.