Policy

Technical and policy issues, industrial developments, regulatory constraints and innovations, market issues, trade developments and opportunities

# 14 - 2017 January

Industrial Renaissance

by Mario Bonaccorso

Today the Italian bioeconomy is at the forefront in the Euro-Mediterranean area but the objective is to reach a €300 billion turnover with 2 million jobs by 2030. This success... [read more]

What if we Went Back to Coins and Currency?

by Silvia Zamboni

WIR, Ithaca Hour, Campino Real are just some of the 5,000 alternative coins circulating in the world today. These precious resources for local economies anchor the wealth produced to... [read more]

When Design Meets Existing Things

by Irene Ivoi

Today, the encounter between creatives and used matter involves very different topics, compared to what happened with Duchamp’s first ready-mades. In order to promote reused... [read more]

The Economy that Came from Outer Space

Interview with Roberto Battiston

edited by Emanuele Bompaninterview with Roberto Battiston

Our planet is a closed system with limited resources. That is why many innovations used within the context of space research are considered fundamental for material recovery and... [read more]

# 13 - 2016 November

When Plundering the Environment Becomes Big Business

by Antonio Pergolizzi

80% of all logging in the Amazon forest occurs without permits. Reptile skin trade is also illegal, generating a $8 billion turnover but jeopardizing the very survival of 1/5 of... [read more]

Success Driven by Innovation

by Mario Bonaccorso

Dossier Denmark   With over 3% of GDP invested in research and development, ranking 8th worldwide amongst countries creating green innovation, Denmark is... [read more]

The Liquid Continent

by Mario Bonaccorso

Pivotal in the European Economy – 30% of global trade runs through its waters – the Mediterranean has all it takes to become the true protagonist of Southern Europe’s... [read more]

Southern Italy Restarts from Green Chemistry

by Mario Bonaccorso

Matrìca in Sardinia, GFBiochemicals in Campania, Mossi Ghisolfi in Apulia and Versalis in Sicily: These are some prime examples of a new industrial flurry in the green chemistry... [read more]

Rare Earth Elements: The Vitamins of Modern Industry

by Francesco Ansaloni Gabriele Giuli

As leader Deng Xiaoping said back in 1992 “There is oil in the Middle East; there is rare earth in China.” Technology metals are now essential for modern industry which... [read more]

# 12 - 2016 September

Winners and Losers of a Circular Future

edited by Joanna Dupont-Inglis

Those who will gain from the transtion to the cirular economy and those who will not. Obstacles to be removed. Factors to bet on. The opinion of four Euro-MPs who, through an... [read more]

Looking After Green Spaces with GPP

by Simona Faccioli

Over the past years – ahead of its time – the municipalities of Barcelona and Lille decided to manage their public green spaces adopting environmental criteria. Here is the... [read more]

If It Becomes an Online Whip-Round

by Silvia Zamboni

Overall, more than $34 billion were collected in 2015, of which 6.4 in Europe. Such money financed researchers’ ideas, startuppers, musicians and writers as well as restoration... [read more]

From Maple Trees to Biorefineries

edited by Mario Bonaccorso

Dossier Canada   Canada is home to 10% of the world’s forests. At the core of a new sustainable development model, today, the bioeconomy already... [read more]

An Industrial Rebirth

edited by Global Affairs Ministry Canada & Natural Resources Canada

Dossier Canada   US$15 billion per year, this is how much Canada’s forest sector is worth. How Canada’s forest industry transformed itself from... [read more]

All Canada's Resources

edited by Global Affairs Ministry Canada & Natural Resources Canada

Dossier Canada   The bioeconomy can promote economic development, employment and climate and environmental benefits. Ottawa’s government has... [read more]

# 11 - 2016 July

The Revival of Eco-Local Materials

Stone, Earth, Wood, Straw, Stubble & Co.

by Dominique Gauzin-Müller

Focus on Circular Building   Ecological, healthy, bio-based, natural: these are the adjectives used to define materials as old as time, rediscovered after... [read more]

Children of a Lesser God

by Antonio Pergolizzi

Focus on Circular Building   On average, each EU country produces 173 million tons of construction and demolition waste per year. Despite the fact that... [read more]

Houses in Hot Pursuitof Cars

by Emanuele Bompan

Focus on Circular Building   It is high time circularity made its entrance into the building sector. The first step is to consider buildings as a product... [read more]

Rwanda's War on Plastic

by Johnatan W. Rosen

Focus Plastic Bags   Plastic bags are such an ubiquitous part of the modern world that it is difficult to imagine life without them. Convenient though they may... [read more]

Flowers from Africa

by Roberto Giovannini

Focus Plastic Bags   Today, in over 20 African countries, using plastic bags is totally or partially forbidden. But the law is often dodged and the illegal... [read more]

When Loans Go Social

by Silvia Zamboni

Italian families’ demand for credit is on the rise: +20% in the first quarter of 2016. But in order to meet such need – in Italy and beyond – there are those who... [read more]

Biomass is the Engine of the Canadian Bioeconomy

Interview with Jeff Passmore

edited by Mario Bonaccorso Jeff Passmore

Abundance of biomass, excellent logistic network and policies supporting both businesses and research. But there is no federal strategy yet and citizens’ awareness is still... [read more]

The Future Starts from Wood

by Mario Bonaccorso

Dossier: Finland   For the Finnish Government, the bioeconomy is at the heart of the country’s growth strategy. Its aim is to push it – from now... [read more]

The Bio Plant is Growing Fast

by Luciano Trentini

Ensuring crop productivity using natural methods and resources, reducing environmental impact and risks for human health: this is how the approach to agricultural production is... [read more]

A Europe At Full GPP

by Simona Faccioli

A snapshot of the level of Green Public Procurement implementation in the EU 28: A €1.8 trillion cake.   [read more]

Public Procurements Get even Greener

by Enrico Cancila

€42 billion to Italy to achieve targets in the fields of – for instance – innovation, education, transport and the environment: the role of European structural funds... [read more]

# 10 - 2016 May

When Repairing a Washing Machine Becomes a Crime

by Alessandro Farruggia

The excess of rules creates confusion and uncertainty harbouring mistakes and bad practices to the point where virtuous behaviour is sanctioned. Many discarded materials have become... [read more]

Dangerous Short-sightedness

by Sofia Mannelli

European and Italian laws do not seem to keep up with the development of green chemistry, constantly drawn towards research and innovation. It is running the risk of clashing with the... [read more]

Circular Economy and Producer Responsibility: A Match that Can Work

by Giovanni Corbetta

The maker of a product must manage its entire life cycle, dealing with it even when it becomes waste. This is the only way to avoid distortions and inefficiencies that could jeopardize... [read more]

It Is Time to Pass from Words to Action

by Mario Bonaccorso

The 4th European Bioeconomy Stakeholders’ Conference was held on... [read more]

An Uphill Struggle

by Mario Bonaccorso

Dossier: United Kingdom   With regard to the bioeconomy, the UK still has a long way to go. But – thanks to biotech – there is considerable... [read more]

United by a Desk

by Silvia Zamboni

From lofts to coworking: 10 years on since the first space was fitted out in San Francisco, today there are about 50,000 workstations in 608 cities scattered in 89... [read more]

# 09 - 2016 March

Remaking Will Change the Economy of Tomorrow

by Guido Viale

Focus on Remanufacturing   How our relationship with second-hand goods has changed over the years thanks to the influence of... [read more]

Awakening the Sleeping Giant

by Gianni Silvestrini

Focus on Remanufacturing   It saves raw materials. It reduces energy consumption, necessary for the production process. It is... [read more]

Better Remanufactured than New

by Fabio Iraldo Irene Bruschi

Focus on Remanufacturing   Remanufacturing – the production system based on materials’ second life – can have... [read more]

The Match is still to be played

by Giorgio Lonardi

It is unambitious, defeatist, wanting for some. Effective and appropriate for others. These are the reactions and comments of politicians and Italian stakeholders to the circular... [read more]

Time for a Copernican Revolution

Interview with Rossella Muroni

edited by Alessandro Farruggiainterview with Rossella Muroni

There is still quite a great deal of resistance towards the circular economy. Not only in Italy, due to a few deep-rooted lobbies, but also in Europe, where the new directive seems to... [read more]

The Bioeconomy: The Netherlands in Pole Position

by Mario Bonaccorso

Dossier: Netherlands   The government’s aim is to achieve 16% renewable energy production by 2023, to become world leader by 2025 for biotechnologies... [read more]

Quo vadis sharing economy?

by Silvia Zamboni

People share dinners, houses, clothes, skills, talents and car lifts. Spurred by the Web, the sharing economy has become part of many aspects of our everyday life. Inspired by the... [read more]

6000 Years Old and Still Going Strong

by Beppe Croce

Grown for the past 6,000 years, suitable in any latitude, hemp can be used in many sectors. From the automotive components industry and green building, to the food, wellness and... [read more]

How to Eradicate the Trash Islands

by Roberto Giovannini

Every year 20 million tons of plastics are dumped at sea: over time, they result in real floating islands featuring up to 100,000 objects per square kilometre, or alternatively sink to... [read more]

# 08 - 2016 January

What is the Real Cost of Palm Oil Production?

by Roberto Giovannini

100,000 fires from January to date, harm to health for entire populations, environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity. To put a stop to all this, the only option is to promote... [read more]

The Complete Package?

by Joanna Dupont-Inglis

New targets for recycling and reusing urban waste, reducing food waste and redifining the very concept of waste. From an analysis of the EU text’s main points, a mix of cautious... [read more]

How to Shape The Next Level of The European Bio-Based Economy?

by Michael Carus, Achim Raschka, Kerstin Iffland, Lara Dammer, Roland Essel, Stephan Piotrowski (nova-Institute)

The reasons for the delay and the prospects of recovery in Europe.   [read more]

1.27 Trillion Euro: That's How Much the Bioeconomy is Worth in the EU5

edited by editorial staff

In Europe’s leading countries, the bioeconomy employs over 7 million people. While, globally, exports amount to $2.396 trillion, 12.6% of the world trade. That’s the... [read more]

Compost Makes its Entrance

by Roberto Rizzo

Every year, in Italy, 252 composting plants produce 1 million tonnes of compost. A powerful ally for a more sustainable agriculture and fertile soil. ... [read more]

Regions and the Circular Economy

by Silvia Zamboni

Minimizing the production of mixed waste. This is what the Copernican revolution occurring in Emilia Romagna is trying to achieve with regard to MSW. ... [read more]

Will Berlin Be the Global Capital of the Bioeconomy?

by Mario Bonaccorso

Vision, Strategy and Teamwork: The German Winning Formula   Focus Germany   [read more]

Bioeconomy Drives Resource Efficiency and Green Growth

Interview with Christine Lang

edited by Mario Bonaccorso

“Bioeconomy can no longer be seen only as the replacement for fossil raw materials. It is based on the combination of renewable resources and innovation to drive resource efficiency and Green... [read more]

# 06-07 - 2015 October

Compliance Schemes: Drivers of Economic Development

by Roberto Coizet

Public concern turning into an economic opportunity. The new waste economy is on its way, driven by widespread environmental responsibility, technological innovation and the need to... [read more]

Technical Effectiveness of Extended Producer Responsibility Schemes: What Do Data Reveal?

by Aldo Femia

In Europe, 2,5 billion tonnes of waste are produced every year, but only 600 million tonnes are recycled or reused. How and how much they contribute in the various EU countries and EPR... [read more]

Natural Capital and the Circular Economy: Two Sides of the Same Coin

by Pasquale Fimiani

The circular economy must be viewed as an indirect form of natural capital’s preservation in addition to integral and balanced protection. ... [read more]

Why Waste is Not Treated in the Same Way

by Giovanni Corbetta

Different management approaches for different waste flows. An ethical code proposed for compliance schemes.    [read more]

Packaging Management System: Assessing a Tree by its Fruits

by Edo Ronchi

Starting over 15 years ago, the Italian CONAI System has enabled Italy to double the waste collected from packaging intended for recovery and recycling. It now amounts to about 8... [read more]

Waste Boundaries

by Paola Ficco

The moment when waste can be considered as such is increasingly postponed. But national and EU regulations must comply and support this new trend. ... [read more]

WEEE: One Problem, Multiple Solutions

Interview with Danilo Bonato

edited by Antonio Cianciullointerview with Danilo Bonato

Every year, globally, 40 million tonnes of electrical and electronic waste are produced and they keep on rising at a rate of 7-10% yearly. In Europe there is a variety of solutions to... [read more]

The Treasure Hidden in the Mines

by Duccio Bianchi

The Good News: In Italy, Aluminium is Now Produced with 100% Recyclable Materials. The Bad News: 40% of Aluminium Used in Urban and Industrial Areas is Discarded. ... [read more]

New Products for New Markets

Interview with Marie Wheat

edited by Joanna Dupont-Inglisinterview with Marie Wheat

In 2013, the bio-based industry contributed $359 billion to the US GDP, creating nearly 4 million jobs. The USDA BioPreferred® Program’s results and challenges... [read more]

The Circular Economy: A Work in Progress

by Danilo Bonato

Today 90% of European manufacturing revenue comes from linear industrial processes. There is only one alternative: rethinking the concept of waste with models that maximize the reuse... [read more]

Bioeconomy: An Investment of 1 Euro Today Will Reap 10 Euro in 2025

by Mario Bonaccorso

A proposal to relaunch the European economy: To get started some 400 billion euro are available in the European Fund, 315 in the Juncker Plan, and another 3.7 from public-private... [read more]

# 5 - 2015 August

Towards a Crackdown on Food Waste

by Carlo Pesso

According to FAO, one-third of global food production goes wasted and contributes an astounding 7% of GHG emissions. Besides being unethical – 795 milllion people hardly eat... [read more]

Stop Wasting Food!

by Antonio Cianciullo

Stop food waste. This is the common theme of the various Charters drawn up during Expo 2015. It is impossible not to be sympathetic with such plea. But a mere moral denunciation is not... [read more]

Unsustainability Trap

by Fabio De Menna Matteo Vittuari

Today the food farming system has become a huge extractive technological model. It is poorly efficient too, and waste and squandering represent a serious environmental issue entailing... [read more]

Biomass: Balance is the Secret

by Aldo Femia

Most of residual biomass – coming from agricultural and forestry activities, from zootechnics and organic waste – doesn’t go back to soil, it goes to landfills in... [read more]

Water: A Contended Resource

by Marta Antonelli

In 10 years, 1.8 billion people will live in areas with severe water scarcity. In this sector, competition will be even more intense because not only the world population will grow but... [read more]

Buildings: The Circular Economy's Challenge

Brussels: Building The Future


In Brussels, the building industry – with over 25,000 employees – is responsible for 70% of green-house gas emissions. Therefore it is the most important opportunity for... [read more]

Critical Mineral Resources for Renewable Energies in Germany

by Peter Viebahn

Wuppertal institute conducted a study to assess which materials must be considered critical relating to expected increase of renewable energies in Germany. Problems concerning materials... [read more]

# 4 - 2015 June

Championing the Circular Cause

Interview with Sirpa Pietikäinen

edited by Joanna Dupont-Inglisinterview with Sirpa Pietikäinen

... [read more]

The New Chemistry Is Worth $80 Trillion

Interview with Rafael Cayuela

edited by Mario Bonaccorsointerview with Rafael Cayuela

For the chemical industry it is an epoch-making change. The way to sustainability is a journey of no return, fuelled by the need to tackle climate change and energy efficiency challenges,... [read more]

The Hidden Value of Plants

by Beppe Croce

Camaldolese monks and Franciscan friars utilized forests for useful as well as spiritual, poetical and beautiful purposes. That relationship has quickly been replaced by a productive... [read more]

10% of Biofuels Without Giving up a Single Sandwich

by Chiara Piccini

Exhausted quarries and mines, dismantled landfills and industrial areas: exploiting marginal areas for bioenergy crops are a tangible solution already under examination both in Europe... [read more]

Business Models Reaching For a Circular Slot

by Carlo Pesso

By 1982 the myth of continued economic growth was under severe strain and the circular economy appeared as a new frontier. At first that dream was put aside. Today, 30 years down the... [read more]

Ecological Debt's Hidden War Increases Tensions in the Mediterranean Area

by Alessandro Farruggia

From 1961 to 2010, the ecological footprint of the entire region increased by more than 211%. At best, its biocapacity only provides half of the natural resources and services used,... [read more]

# 3 - 2015 April

5.5 Billion Precious Tons of Forests and Agricultural Fields

by Aldo Femia

The “war for biomass” – Mario Bonaccorso warned us in an article that appeared in the last issue of Renewable Matter – is not a... [read more]

Europe Desperately Seeking Biomass

by Mario Bonaccorso

Adequate volumes of biomass, a reliable supply chain and free trade are the three pillars for the development of the bioeconomy, according to a report by the United States Department of... [read more]

Bioplastics: Fostering a Sustainable and Resource Efficient Circular Economy in Europe

by Hasso von Pogrell

Today, there is a bioplastic alternative to almost every conventional plastic and corresponding application. Bioplastics – plastics that are biobased,... [read more]

Bioeconomy and Food Security: The Relaunch of Agriculture Is at Stake

by Marco Moro

On 17th January 2015, the 7th Agriculture Ministers’ Summit was held in Berlin, the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2015 (GFFA). The risks... [read more]

EPR - A Building Block of the Circular Economy

by Carlo Pesso

It all started in August 1986 when Germany adopted the “Waste Avoidance and Waste Management Act”, Abfallgesetz, that gave the federal... [read more]

EPR as an Economic and Environmental Instrument

by Joachim Quoden

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) can be a strong policy principle in resource management if applied in the appropriate manner. According to the Organisation for Economic... [read more]

Italy: Compost is Catching up

by Marco Gisotti

The increase in the wet fraction of recycling has been exemplary: a 10% annual increase in 10 years. However, very few treatment plants have been built. This risks being the... [read more]

# 2 - 2015 February

Over 50 Billion Tons of Matter Wasted Every Year: Resources to Preserve

by Aldo Femia

Given the amount of materials that it mobilizes, the human species is now competing with the most important causes of geomorphological change. Our thirst for fossil fuels... [read more]

Elemental Sustainability

by James Clark

Today’s designers, industrialists and scientists can select virtually any chemical element to perform the specific function of their desire. As a result,... [read more]

Is Europe Changing Its Policy on the Circular Economy?

by Francesco Petrucci

The withdrawal of an amendment package of the directives on waste (the so-called “directive on the circular economy”) [read more]

The War for Biomass

by Mario Bonaccorso

  After the wars for coal and oil, in the not too distant future, wars for biomasses are also to be expected. Such provocation – but is it... [read more]

In Italy the Bioeconomy Is Worth 241 Billion Euro

by Mario Bonaccorso

The bank Intesa Sanpaolo presents the first private study on the bioeconomy. In the five major EU countries, the bioeconomy is worth more than €1.2 trillion... [read more]

Waste Thieves

by Antonio Pergolizzi

Does ecomafia only mean burying hazardous waste illegally? Are we just talking about waste trafficking or about raw materials stealing as well? To answer these... [read more]

Why China is Embracing the Circular Economy

by Johnson Yeh

The Chinese economy has grown rapidly and created tremendous wealth. Nominal GDP has grown 7.5 times between 2000 and 2013. Total household income has about... [read more]

Kickstarting the Circular Economy in China

by Carlo Pesso

The turn of the century definitely marked a tipping point. In 2004, Pan Yue, China’s Deputy Minister for Environmental Protection, one among the greenest... [read more]

# 1 - 2014 November

The Peak of Resources

by Ugo Bardi
Keywords
uncertainty, exhaustion of resources, mining operation, oil, Hubbert peak

If you were asked to imagine an antithetical situation to that of circular economy, what would come to your mind? Probably the world of fossil fuels, namely the carbon stock that has... [read more]

5 Drivers for a Changing Economy

by Marco Frey

The simple question that we ask ourselves here is if the turning point of “renewable matter” is a real radical change in the industrial notion of resource flow. ... [read more]

Bioeconomy: a European Gamble

by editorial staff interview with Fabio Fava

[read more]

Revision of the Waste Directive and Prospects for a European Circular Economy

by Duccio Bianchi

The European circular economy is shaping up, at least in terms of objectives. The proposal for a new waste directive sets ambitious targets for recycling, while at the same time... [read more]

The Many Lives of Matter. Here's how to Convert it Back

by Jukka Kantola

We are living in interesting times. It is said that the 19th century was powered by coal, the 20thcentury by oil and hopefully the 21st... [read more]

Employment, Research and Innovation for Sustainable Growth

A 79 Billion Euro Policy Package for Horizon 2020

by Lucia Gardossi

[read more]

A Ban Spurs the Launch of the Bioeconomy in Italy: the Case of Shopping Bags

by Francesco Ferrante

On 13th September 2014 the beginning of an investigation conducted by Turin’s Public Prosecution captured the headlines. The enquiry was about plastic bags that were... [read more]

It Takes a Flower

by Marco Gisotti

Who has never seen that beautiful plant called dandelion, also known in scientific terms as Taraxacum? It is much appreciated in phytotherapy and some people also use it as a salad... [read more]

The European Path to Bioeconomy Runs through Clusters

by Mario Bonaccorso

Who are the major protagonists of the European bioeconomy? Clusters. From France to the Netherlands, from Germany to Italy, in the Old Continent many countries aggregate small and medium... [read more]