50% less litter found on Flemish road sides

Over the past six years the amount of litter cleared from alongside trunk roads and motorways in Flanders has fallen by almost 50%. According to figures released by the Flemish authorities 3,500 tonnes of litter were collected in 2012. By 2018 this had fallen to 1,800 tonnes. The Flemish Waste Management Agency OVAM says that the fall has at least in part come about thanks to annual awareness campaigns in the media.   

OVAM’s Jan Verheyen told journalists “We know that most of the litter is to be found on slip roads and a parking facilities along motorways.  A lot of cigarette butts are thrown away there, as well as of course packaging material and bottles”.    

Mr Vereen says that the fall in the amount of rubbish collected has come about thanks to the efforts made by OVAM in collaboration with partners such as the Flemish Highways and Traffic Agency.  

"Not just the annual campaigns, but also the action taken on the motorway carparks”.   

However, 1,800 tonnes is still a lot of litter and considerable work still needs to be done.

"The aim is to further reduce the amount of litter in Flanders by 20%. However, for places such as motorways and trunk roads to goals are higher still. So we need to continue to invest in campaigns but also in enforcement”.