Bioeconomy or circular economyThe circular economy is a restorative and regenerative economy. By maintaining the value of the products, materials and resources in the economy through smart product design, repurposing and/or shared use of products, it reduces the extraction of natural resources by using resources already present in the economy.?
Bioeconomy and circular economy are two closely related concepts that aim to promote the sustainable use of natural resources. Bioeconomy is based on the use of renewable raw materials and recovery of waste and co-productA co-product is a product that occurs in conjunction with an industrial process, the production of which was not directly sought, but it has a financial value nonetheless.s. It encourages an economy based on ecosystems, in which natural resources are used effectively and sustainably to produce goods and services. Bioeconomy responds to fundamental societal challenges such as fighting climate change, ensuring food security, or creating and maintaining local employment.
As for the circular economy, it is based on the principle of reusing, repairRepair is making a faulty product work again, allowing its use to be extended without the user parting with it, or with a view to reuseReuse designates all operations by which substances, materials or products that are not waste are used again in an identical way to their originally intended purpose. (donation, second-hand sale).ing, recyclingAny recovery operation through which waste, including organic waste, is reprocessed to become substances, materials or products that can be used for their initial function or other functions. and regenerating resources. It aspires to minimise waste and maximise value creation. Its aim is to reduce the use of new raw materials and create a circular manufacturing loop that minimises waste and greenhouse gas emissions.
Therefore, bioeconomy and circular economy have shared aims in terms of sustainable development and preservation of natural resources. Bioeconomy can contribute to the circular economy by supplying renewable raw materials and encouraging the recovery of resources. In turn, the circular economy can help achieve the bioeconomy’s objectives by minimising waste and favouring the regeneration of resources.
The advantages of a circular bioeconomy
Bioeconomy uses renewable resourcesRenewable resources are the energy and raw materials that come from renewable sources. such as plants, animals, seaweed etc. It therefore allows a more sustainable use of these resources, because they can regenerate naturally. Bioeconomy also aspires to replace non-renewable fossil resources with renewable biological resources. This reduces dependence on fossil resources and contributes to fighting climate change.
Bioeconomy also offers opportunities for job creation in agriculture, the fishing industry, forestry, production of biofuels, bio-industries etc. It encourages innovation in the production of new products and services such as bioplastics, biofuels, natural cosmetics, medicines and so on.
Coupled with a circular logic, bioeconomy reduces waste by using renewable raw materials and recycling bio-waste.
Find out more
The BioSource Economy [in French] – Valbiom
Van biomassa tot waardevolle producten - VLAIO
Bioeconomy in Flanders
Recent research and actions in Flanders (in Dutch)