From Bioenergy By-products to Alternative Fertilisers: Pursuing a Circular Economy
A number of policy mechanisms have driven the development of a circular economy in organic waste management. This chapter explores the journey of organic wastes from a waste management problem to a renewable energy solution, and then looks to their future as a viable market alternative to conventional inorganic fertilisers. This transition reflects changes in the wider waste policy landscape with a shift from waste management to resource recovery—a viewpoint that is to become increasingly important as the UK and EU look to pursue circular economy strategies. Producing alternative fertilisers from bioenergy by-products provides a neat principle for returning nutrients to soils and closing the loop. However, myriad barriers make this challenging from regulatory viewpoints. Regulations are necessarily risk-conservative, yet arguably innovation-prohibitive. This chapter will explore the challenges that may arise from possible conflicts in regulations, and seeks to establish a way forward for the entry of bioenergy by-products into the circular economy.