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  • Abhay Bhagwat

Bioeconomics - a new term to address modern challenges

Updated: Aug 18, 2022

“It is estimated that open ocean floating plastics account for less than 1% of the total that has reached the seas and oceans since plastic began to be produced… plastics may persist for hundreds of years... During this time they adsorb toxins, concentrating them before getting into the food chain and affecting animal and human health.”

Review of the EU Bioeconomy Strategy and its Action

Plan, Publications Office of the European Union 2019

The term “bioeconomy” was used from the 1980’s to refer to the revolution of massive progress in human understanding of biology. Genome sequencing was beginning to happen, this along with other developments meant there was a creation of a new economic sector, the biosciences.

More recently however we mostly find the term is used to cover both biotechnology, and the way in which the biosphere impacts on the environment we live in, on us and on the economy.

It is used by governments and policy makers around both the opportunities in this new economic sector and in reference to how the biosphere is affected by all industries and what can be done to protect it from them.

The term is thus used to refer to a combination of things, but for the most part, when we see it in use today it will most often relate to how we can protect the biosphere, the environment.

By 2015 Germany and Finland had published policies and strategies on the bioeconomy. And by 2020 the European Union as a whole put bioeconomic policies in place. As did the USA .

These policies specifically aim to create economic activity and public benefit from the biosciences while also putting focus on the management of natural resources sustainably.

The European Union Policy on the Bioeconomy aims among other things:

“to pave the way to a more innovative, resource efficient and competitive society… with the sustainable use of renewable resources for industrial purposes, while ensuring environmental protection”

By setting goals around this new concept, governments have been able to position themselves to be receptive to new opportunities, and ensure that the environment is optimally protected.

According to a report on the Bioeconomy by the European Union the "bioeconomy" can solve problems:

“...up to 12 million tons of plastic are dumped in our oceans every year, but with the help of bioeconomy this amount can be reduced by 90% by 2025.”

The problems can be solved, not by the use of slightly ambigious terms but by forward thinking companies.

The work of Packaging for the Future helps in the move towards the aims of these policies and is already a key player in making steps towards their ambitious goals.

If you are looking for ways to optimise your packaging to meet bioeconomic related goals, or would like to know more, be in touch to see how we can help.

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