What is bioeconomy
The bioeconomy relies on renewable biological resources from the land and sea, such as crops, fist, animal, micro-organism, or forests, to produce food, energy, or materials. It promotes a sustainable production of natural resources from biomass rather than fossil and mineral-based resources.
Circular economy and bioeconomy
Bioeconomy has a strong potential to move forward a more circular and low-carbon economy, by switching from fossil-based resources to bio-based resources. On the other hand, circular economy aims to make a better use of material resources by extending life products, reducing losses, and recycling and recovering materials as much as possible. Therefore, it is important to better align both bioeconomy and circular economy, to ensure that bio-based resources are used in a sustainable way, as bioeconomy projects are not automatically circular.
Could bioeconomy be more circular?
Although bioeconomy relies on renewable resources, there is still much potential to make bioeconomy strategies more circular. This transition starts from a change of mindset. The first step is to perceive biowaste as a resource, and not a discarded material. Besides, reducing losses in the different bioeconomy value chains has to be regarded as a priority. It also requires reconciling legislation, waste management, and circularity with the bioeconomy.
How to improve biowaste management?
There is significant room for improvement in biowaste management, notably through the identification of streams with high potential as key resources to obtain potential bio-products, the improvement of collection, and focusing more on increasing the quality of biowaste to ensure its proper recovery.
Food waste prevention must be the priority of local bioeconomy strategies.