Making bioeconomy circular: How far can circular economy principles be applied to the bioeconomy?

The European Commission has adopted an ambitious new Circular Economy Package to help European businesses and consumers make the transition to a stronger and more circular economy where resources are used in a more sustainable way. At the same time, the bioeconomy has become a policy priority in Europe.

The concepts of circular economy and bioeconomy have similar targets, but none is fully part of the other nor embedded in the other. The Circular Economy proposal can be seen as an opportunity to link the circular and the bio-based economies.

The bioeconomy encompasses the production of renewable biological resources and the conversion of these resources and waste streams into value added products, such as food, feed, bio-based products and bioenergy. And the circular economy is presented as the economic space “where the value of products, materials and resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible, and the generation of waste minimised“. It is clear that the bioeconomy and circular economy have a common target and both concepts are crucial for a more sustainable and resource efficient world with a low carbon footprint.

EURACTIV organised this workshop to examine where the bioeconomy and circular economy connect, and how synergies can be further developed. Questions included: 

– How can the bioeconomy contribute to the circular economy?

– How does circularity contribute to the bioeconomy?

– Will the bioeconomy promote further investment in environmental research, innovation and skills?

– What should be in the Commission communication on the update of the Bioeconomy Strategy? 

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