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Transforming Waste Management: The Unbox DRS Initiative in Belgium


A pile of used bottles

On December 23, 2022, the Flemish Government made an ambitious move to revolutionize waste management in Flanders, Belgium. Aiming for a cleaner and greener future, the government decided to explore the potential of digital deposit systems. This new venture is set to be rolled out in 2025, marking a significant step towards digitized waste management.


The concept memorandum of the Flemish Government set forth the primary conditions for this initiative. These conditions will serve as the guiding principles in the testing and evaluation of the proposed systems throughout 2023. In a proactive response to this revolutionary call, 14 organizations submitted proposals, demonstrating their interest in contributing to this green initiative.


Unbox was selected by the steering group to take part in the pilot project. Unbox is now on an exciting path to extensively test its innovative proposal in various test environments, starting on May 22, 2023, with a closed environment testing phase.


The Testing Phases

The testing process is strategically planned in three phases – closed, semi-open, and open test environments. This meticulous approach allows the system to be evaluated under various conditions, gradually introducing more variables to ensure its efficiency and resilience.


After the initial phase, the testing will expand to semi-open environments such as holiday parks and eventually to open environments like cities or municipalities. These stages are designed to evaluate the system's effectiveness in realistic conditions, ensuring that it can handle the complexity of real-world waste management.


Impact on Litter

One of the critical factors in this evaluation is the impact on litter. As the testing phases progress, the project will measure how the new system can help decrease litter in open environments. This analysis will be crucial in determining the practicality and sustainability of the proposed system.


The Unbox Pilot Project

Unbox is launching its closed environment pilot project on May 30, 2023, at the KBC headquarters in Leuven. This project is in direct response to a call for projects from OVAM and is supervised by the digital deposit pilot projects' steering group.

The Unbox pilot project's key figures are as follows:

  • The pilot will involve approximately 1,800 employees.

  • An estimated 8,000 drinks (bottles and cans) with unique codes will be used.

  • There will be 60 identification codes at collection points to verify proper disposal.

  • The pilot project will run from May 30 to June 23, 2023.

This initiative provides a glimpse into the future of waste management. Unbox is proud to be at the forefront of this revolution, driving towards a greener, cleaner, and more sustainable future. We are excited to share our progress with you as we embark on this journey of innovation and sustainability.


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