According to Wageningen University in the Netherlands, circular bio-economy “uses fewer natural resources, has lower emission levels, and will improve the nature-inclusivity and biodiversity of the food system compared to the current systems”. And the World Economic Forum states that it “offers a conceptual framework for using renewable natural capital to transform and manage our land, food, health, and industrial systems, with the goal of achieving sustainable wellbeing in harmony with nature. “
At the Connected Circularity Research Center in Wageningen University in the Netherlands, there are four flagship projects aiming at propelling this transition in society. Within each grouping, there are several smaller projects, such as bicycle lanes of lignin (a green mineral plant) and bakery waste processed into animal feed. Flagship project 1 is aimed at designing “alternative scenarios for the future of a biobased economy in the Netherlands and will map the ecological and economic consequences of these scenarios.” Flagship project 2 is aimed at developing a tool to assess the safety of products. Flagship project 3 is aimed at learning “from successful and failed circularity projects.” Lastly, flagship project 4 is aimed to design “solutions for urban challenges.”
As the proverb goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, circular bio-economy is about using the byproducts of a given production cycle for a different one. In this way, we can diminish waste and substitute or use less prime materials. This modifies our conception of what waste is and means and we start connecting different components. Therefore, I invite everyone to explore what circular-bioeconomy is, how can this concept assist society to transition into a healthier and fairer future for our planet, and what we as individuals can do to promote being part of this transition.
By Olga Muñoz, Graduate Assistant