Even though many policy makers are convinced of the bioeconomy’s environmental, economic and social added value, it has turned out that citizens are not always equally enthusiastic, or even reject the concept. Different factors, or a combination thereof, can be attributed to this resistance, ranging from considerations concerning sustainability issues associated with the widespread use of biomass to fear of being exposed to increased noise and air pollution due to newly built biorefineries in communities.
Securing widespread public acceptance for bio-based products and processes is a hurdle the EU needs to take to truly move away from fossil fuels, in addition to ensuring that biomass is sourced sustainably. Because without the support of citizens, establishing a market for these products will be challenging, if not impossible.
Improving knowledge, education and awareness plays a key role in securing citizen’s support for the bioeconomy, but other aspects are pertinent as well; involving civil society and reinforcing the regional dimension. This policy paper explores on how to effectively put these three recommendations into practice and is, among others, relevant for authorities interested in boosting the uptake of bio-based products or implementing their own bioeconomy strategies.
The recommendations– each contextualised and sub-divided in several concrete actions – provide insight on how to improve the public acceptance of bio-based products and processes. Good practice examples are listed for each, to provide inspiration as to what these actions could look like. The recommendations are mainly based on stakeholder feedback received in workshops organised in nine countries across Europe under the BIOBRIDGES project and the results of other European research projects (e.g. BioSTEP, BIOWAYS, Open-Bio).
Paper is available HERE