Published Friday, 13 March 2015

Building a high value bioeconomy in the UK: opportunities from waste 

On 5 March, the UK Government presented its views on the potential for developing a high value bioeconomy in the UK, one based at least initially on waste. The report comes as a response to the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee recommendations published last year. As a starting point, the report sets out the opportunities and key components of the current bioeconomy with a view to developing a longer term plan to realise the economic and environmental potential of such an initiative in the UK, and the value of waste as a resource within it.

IEEP supported the development of this Government initiative by providing evidence to the House of Lords helping to inform their recommendations. IEEP’s insights to the recommendations focused on ensuring that the scale, existing uses and environmental implications of using different wastes and residues were taken into account in the future utilization of these different resources. In addition, IEEP has been commissioned to undertake an international benchmarking exercise to help understand how other countries have developed bioeconomy strategies and what lessons can be learnt in developing the environmental and economic benefits in the UK context. This work will be submitted to the House of Lords as part of the Government’s response to their recommendations and used by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, in taking this initiative forwards.

For more information on this work, or IEEP’s wider work on bioresources use, please contact Ben Allen (