Here’s how the ‘circular economy’ is allowing firms to help save the planet
RECYCLE Week, held in September, served as the perfect platform for highlighting the incredible work being done by Scottish firms to reduce the volume of the nation’s food waste.
By taking a circular economy approach and working to make products of value from our waste, we can reduce our carbon footprint and play a significant role in cutting down on what is sent to landfill.
There is tremendous innovation and effort from talented individuals and businesses. Products are now being made from materials that would otherwise be thrown away.
Here are just a few examples of the ingenious work being done...
REVIVE, based in Glasgow, was set up by three graduates – the legacy of a second-year project while at the University of Strathclyde.
They saw the potential for diverting used coffee grounds away from landfill to be turned into valuable garden fertiliser. The company is also working on the extraction of valuable biomass oil from the used coffee.
Zero Waste Scotland has provided Revive with funding and support for business development, to explore value recovery using superheated steam processing.
Maclean’s Highland Bakery.
THIS family firm, based in Forres, near the Moray coast, has been supported by Zero Waste Scotland for the past two years, helping in the development of bakery products that meet the criteria of reducing waste and using sustainable packaging.
The company has taken draff – a fibre by-product of beer and whisky production that is rich in protein – to produce a biscuit that benefits from the extra flavour but uses material that would otherwise go to landfill.
Black soldier fly farming.
INSECT farming could offer a sustainable source of protein for animal feed, while helping to reduce the EU’s reliance on protein imports.
Insect farming, particularly of the black soldier fly (BSF), offers an intriguing opportunity to turn organic residues – including food waste – into feedstock. Companies worldwide are now operating insect-farming plants on a commercial scale.
Zero Waste Scotland chief executive Iain Gulland said: ‘[These companies] are a perfect example of the way circular economy principles are being put into practice in Scotland.
‘By turning leftovers into opportunities, they have created fantastic businesses. I hope their success will inspire others to come up with their own circular economy business ideas.’