To overcome the barriers, circular economy needs to go far beyond the pursuit of waste prevention and waste reduction to inspire technological, organizational and social innovation across and within value chains. It demands a system change with parallel actions along the value chain rather than a purely sector and / or product focused approach, as well as regulatory, institutional, and cultural changes.
WaysTUP! will address these issues by demonstrating innovative technologies and new business models, as well as contributing to a change of mind-set of citizens and policy makers through an interdisciplinary framework.
In order to cope with the rising global population, expanding needs for food and feed, rapid depletion of many resources, increasing environmental pressures and climate change, Europe is by fostering the circular economy model i.e. the economic system in which ‘the value of products, materials and resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible, and the generation of waste is minimized’ . Various studies outline a variety of barriers to the implementation of circular economy. The main categories identified are cultural, technological, market, and regulatory. Urban bio-waste is an abundant source for the production of alternative bio-based products, but is largely unexploited. Approximately 75% of this material is landfilled while only 25% is recycled into products, mainly compost and bio-gas. Another barrier to circular economy caused of bio-waste is the lack of feedstock security. To overcome this, there is a need to focus on the full value chain of bio-waste (EP CCBSD, 2015) and promote business models which create a setting where all parties involved perceive a win-win situation.
The overall objective of WaysTUP! is to demonstrate the establishment of new value chains for urban bio-waste utilisation for the production of higher value purpose products (i.e. bio-based products, including food and feed ingredients), through a multi-stakeholder approach in line with circular economy. The project will showcase a portfolio of new ‘urban bio-waste to bio-based products’ processes starting from different feedstocks i.e. fish and meat waste, spent coffee grounds, household source separated bio-waste, used cooking oils, cellulosic waste derived from municipal wastewater and waste treatment plants and sewage sludge. PILOT demonstration will take place in several European cities i.e. Valencia (Spain), London (United Kingdom), Alicante (Spain), Prague (Czech Republic), Athens (Greece), L’Alcúdia (Spain), Terni (Italy) and Crete (Greece). The processes will result in the production of food and feed additives, flavours, insect protein, coffee oil, bio-ethanol, bio-solvents, polyxydroxyalkanoates, ethyl lactate, long chain dicarboxylic acid, bio-plastics and bio-char. The new value chains will achieve improved citizens’ perception on urban bio-waste as a local resource, enable sustainable choices and consumer acceptance of urban bio-waste derived products, and thus increase their participation in separate collection schemes at municipality level. New profitable business models will be developed, and policy changes will be promoted to public authorities.
Objective 1: WaysTUP! aims to expand bio-mass feedstock. In particular, the following feedstock streams will be handled: Meat and fish by-products, Spent coffee grounds, Source separated bio-waste from households, Used cooking oils, Cellulosic rejection material from wastewater treatment and municipal solid waste plants, Sewage sludge.
Objective 2: WaysTUP! aspires to practically demonstrate a spectrum of technological solutions for the utilisation of urban bio-waste for the production, via sustainable pathways, of a portfolio of chemicals and materials capable to replace a considerable and wide range of non-renewable equivalents.
Objective 3: WaysTUP! aims to develop and implement a behavioural change approach with citizens and local communities by improving the current perception of citizens and local communities on urban bio-waste as a local resource.
Objective 4: WaysTUP! aims to define and setup business models and marketing concepts and prepare market entry of the technology solutions successfully demonstrated in the context of the project as well as of the end-products resulting from them. The project also aims to unveil and enhance technologies and end-product market potential.
Objective 5: WaysTUP! will address two governmental/regulatory levels: 1) local/regional level and 2) national/EU level. It will provide guidance for city managers and local decision makers on adopting new organisational models supporting the valorisation of urban bio-waste, as well as evidence-based EU level policy recommendations for decision makers on valorisation of urban bio-waste.
Objective 6: WaysTUP! project aims at adding value to urban bio-waste and thus expanding the potential feedstock for valuable bio-based products increasing investment in the development of sustainable cities and bio-based industry sector in Europe with direct benefits for the environment, the economy and the society.
DEPUTY PROJECT COORDINATOR
COMMUNICATION TEAM LEADER
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