The objective of this second local Living Lab for the Province of Pazardzhik was to identify the barriers and drivers that can limit and foster biocircular products/processes at each specific stage of the selected biowaste chain. The discussion aimed at analysing which supporting actions could help facing the identified barriers, contributing to a more efficient and sustainable implementation of circular bioeconomy.
After an introduction to the current status of the project and the results of the first Living Labs by Karin Meisterl, from Fundació ENT, Amalia Zucaro from ENEA presented the expected outcomes from local stakeholders. They are the following: Analysis of legal gaps and opportunities with the support of Living Labs; Environmental and economic benefits and bottlenecks for forest biomass valorisation; Setting the guidelines for identifying the most suitable biowaste treatment options. She explained that the aim is to receive a contribution from the participants regarding the implementation of an efficient way to perform biocircular strategies in forestry waste management in PP.
Following this, participants got to actively participated in the meeting. They started by presenting their entities and their activities within the different waste management chains and circular bioeconomy. Then, they identified the legal/administrative, technical, economic, environmental/health, and social barriers and drivers for the implementation of circular bioeconomy in the field of forestry waste in the Province of Pazardzhik.
They concluded that the main drivers were:
- Legal incentives to produce renewable energies and biochemicals (e.g., tax reduction);
- Improve the efficiency of collection and treatment of biowaste from forestry in existing facilities;
- Financial incentives for investments;
- Reducing the risk of forest fires and thus the impact on flora and fauna and human health, as well as GHG emissions;
- Campaigns to explain to citizens that using raw wood as a fire-wood is not efficient and that there are other alternatives that are more efficient and environmentally friendly.
In terms of barriers, participants mainly mentioned uncertainty of forest administration and management (state, municipal, and private) does not allow for secure and long-term investments in the sector, lack of exchange of experiences and results, a low number of best practices transferred from other remote EU regions in the sector, unawareness of the sustainable use of wood biomass and lack of planning security for long-term, tender-bound investments (municipal vs. state vs. private administration).