Online event: Food waste collections and the unintended consequences of plastic contamination to soil
22 September 2020, 13:00 – 14:30 CEST
Hosted by MEP Franc Bogovič
Co-Chair of the Bioeconomy Working Group of the
European Parliament Intergroup on ‘Climate Change, Biodiversity & Sustainable Development’
The mandate for all EU nations to source segregate biowaste for treatment in composting and anaerobic digestion is a huge success of European environmental policy. An estimated extra 50 million tons a year of biowaste will be collected for treatment after 2024 across the EU. Untreated biowaste contributes to GHG emissions and signifies a lost opportunity for getting organic carbon back to soil and for producing renewable gas and methane. In the Communication on the European Green Deal, the European Commission committed to the adoption of a new Circular Economy Action Plan to accelerate and continue the transition towards a circular economy. Additionally, the “Farm to Fork” strategy aims at implementing a new EU action plan on food loss and waste and reducing the dependency on chemical pesticides & fertilizers.
This event will address the opportunities and challenges such large volumes of bio-waste present. Among the challenges is the need to ensure biowaste is suitable for treatment and returns to soil as organic carbon without contamination. An increasing body of data shows that, unless measures are taken, food waste collections will be contaminated with plastics and these will leak through treatment systems to soil. To avoid this contamination high quality collection systems are required for bio-waste as well as instruments for the promotion of organic soil improvers over mineral fertilizers. As a result, we aim to give an overview of the availability of biowaste and bring together EU policy-makers, key stakeholders and practitioners that will bring their expertise, and discuss best practices and potential roadblocks with regards to biowaste.