19 February 2021

Circular bioeconomy, a network to promote it launched in Brussels

Circular bioeconomy, a network to promote it launched in Brussels

The European Circular Bioeconomy Policy Initiative kicks off: a network of research institutions and companies to stimulate the circular bioeconomy and reinforce the market outlets for biobased materials. On Tuesday 23 February, the official presentation of its Manifesto.

by Emanuele Isonio

“Working on policies within the European context to promote the circular bioeconomy”: The Recovery Plan, the need to come out of the Covid economic crisis stronger, the importance of reaching the EU climate targets represent a great opportunity for low environmental impact industries. However, much remains to be done in order not to lose the challenge of producing better, more and with fewer resources. For this reason, European Circular Bioeconomy Policy Initiative (ECBPI), will be launched in Brussels: a network of research centers, universities, “enlightened” companies.

Produce more with less

The official presentation will take place in a virtual meeting, scheduled for next Tuesday, February 23rd. (Here for registration https://mailchi.mp/6d74322c89a3/european-circular-bioeconomy-policy-initiative-manifesto-launch-event?e=be14542fe5)

“Our Mission is for the advancement of the European Economy, the regeneration of our Environment, the sustainability of our Agriculture, the development of Scientific Research and the Health of our Citizens. We believe that the opportunities and challenges we face in Europe for continued prosperity are intrinsically linked to the growth of a restorative, regenerative European circular bioeconomy” Roberto Ferrigno, partner of ECBPI, said to Re Soil Foundation. “In this vision, we see materials and energy derived from biowastes and agricultural by-products, from renewable, sustainably grown, bio-based resources that complement food production, are returned through systemic management to soil, to enhance and ensure the long-term viability of agricultural production in Europe”.

The mission of the new network is the focus of a Manifesto that will be illustrated during the meeting on Tuesday. At its center, there isthe need to protect and improve the quality of European soil: “it provides us with 95% of our food” Ferrigno said. “Its continued exploitation is unsustainable and is causing erosion and declining quality. Regeneration of soils and improved biodiversity of our natural capital through restorative, circular management of energy and materials, are essential to inverting the tendency to worsening ecological quality”.

Bioeconomy, an enormous development potential

To do this, the development of the circular bioeconomy is essential. The growth opportunities are huge. “The bioeconomy – the European Commission already calculated in 2018 – has the potential to create 1 million new green jobs by 2030. It already includes agriculture, forestry, fishing, food production, bioenergy and bioproducts. With an indicative annual revenue of 2 thousand billion euros, employs about 18 million people. It is also an essential sector for stimulating growth in rural and coastal areas”. https://ec.europa.eu/info/research-and-innovation/research-area/environment/bioeconomy_en

Legislativetools to protect soil are urgently needed

However, current policies at both Community level and between Member States, are not clear. For example, there are no legislative tools which currently recognisethe bioeconomy contribution in terms of closing the soil to soil cycle. “This above all in relation to the end of life of the materials, where the regeneration of soil quality is fundamental” Ferrigno said. “Our initiative therefore wants to work in this direction. And to do so, it aims to involve all the associations, industries and political groups that share some of our concerns and objectives ”.