Sustainable Prosperity for Europe

Circular economy and smarter use of resources

The bioeconomy and the circular economy - A perfect match?

9 November 2016

The bioeconomy relies on the conversion of renewable natural resources such as wood and crops into products and materials, which can be used in a wide range of sectors, including construction, paper and paperboard, textile and chemicals, as well as energy. Bio-based materials are also recyclable and biodegradable, which makes them well suited for circular economy practices. At this Policy Dialogue, organised with the support of Metsä Group, a panel of experts and several stakeholders explored the bioeconomy’s contribution to the transition towards a more circular, resource-efficient and sustainable European economy. The debate was held against the backdrop of ongoing policy developments that will have an impact on the types of synergies created between the bioeconomy and the circular economy, including the legislative proposals on waste framework and packaging and packaging waste directives, which are currently being examined by the European Parliament. The European Commission will also assess how the 2012 Bioeconomy Strategy contributes to the circular economy and its possible review. Issues that were discussed include the potential for and challenges of integrating bio-based materials into the circular economy, as well as how legislative proposals, such as those on waste, and the Bioeconomy Strategy could help in the process.

Speakers included: Annika Hedberg, Senior Policy Analyst, EPC (Moderator), Thomas Dodd, Policy Officer, Bio-based industries, Circular economy, Coordination, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission, Riikka Joukio, Senior Vice-President, Metsä Group, Joanna Dupont-Inglis, Director, Industrial Biotechnology, Europabio, Linde Zuidema, forest and climate campaigner, Fern, Carsten Bermig, Expert, Cabinet of Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elżbieta Bienkowska, European Commission

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