WIT Press

Bio-based circular economy in European national and regional strategies


Free (open access)


Volume 14 (2019), Issue 1



Page Range

31 - 43

Paper DOI



WIT Press


Susanna Vanhamaki, Katerina Medkova, Apostolos Malamakis, Stamatia Kontogianni, Eleonora Marisova, David Huisman Dellago & Nicolas Moussiopoulos


In circular economy (Ce), the value of products and materials is maintained for as long as possible. What has previously been considered waste is now a resource that can be reused and reintroduced to the production cycle. Therefore, waste management of both technical and bio-based waste streams plays a central role in the transition towards Ce. In bioeconomy, the materials are to a certain extent circular by nature. however, biomaterials may also be used in a rather linear way. according to the european Commission, the transition towards Ce needs to be supported on local, regional and national levels. Thus, to enhance sustainability and get the full potential out of bioeconomy, the Ce principles should be applied to reach bio-based Ce. This paper presents the results of a qualitative assessment that was carried out in Finland, Spain, Slovakia, greece, romania and France. Selected national and regional strategies were identified, compared and analyzed from the perspective of Ce and bio-based Ce. at the time of the study, the added value of Ce was recognized in most of the national and regional level strategies studied, through objectives concerning e.g. waste management or bioenergy. Bio-based Ce was hardly ever included as a term but circularity aspects were referred to for example through bio- waste management. Waste management appears to be the main driver in the transition towards Ce. This is evident also in the case presented from Slovakia. yet, in order for Ce to become an integral part of national and regional policies, a more comprehensive understanding of the Ce mechanisms should be achieved. Supported actions on both small and large-scale are needed. The research is partly an outcome of the ongoing Interreg europe project BIOregIO, where the bio-based circular economy is boosted through a transfer of expertise about best practices, aiming at changing regional policies to support bio-based Ce.


bio-based materials, circular economy, national strategies, regional strategies.