The concept of the circular economy is about using the planet’s resources efficiently and sustainably to prevent irreversible environmental degradation and resource depletion. The circular economy seeks to break away from the linear economy characterized by “make, use, dispose” in favour of a more circular model based on “reuse, recycle or biodegrade”. The bioeconomy is a perfect illustration of circularity in that it regenerates CO2 and uses renewable raw materials to make greener everyday products.
A sustainable waste management system that fully uses the potential of agricultural, forestry and municipal (biogenic) wastes will be essential to enable the circular economy and can supply the bioeconomy with recycled raw materials. Key policy asks: (1) Ensure access to biomass ; (2) Promote industrial symbiosis and boost secondary raw materials; and, (3) Promote bio-based packaging.
Biorefineries are processing facilities that convert biomass into food, food ingredients, feed, chemicals, materials, fuels and energy using a wide variety of conversion technologies in an integrated manner. A common goal for biorefineries is to use all parts of the biomass raw material as efficiently as possible, i.e. maximising the economic added value, while minimising the environmental footprint.