Waste

  • English Version Italian version below A few months ago, we had the pleasure of hosting Ivan Calimani, founder of Krill Design, at our Re-think Circular Economy Forum, the event that we created as a meeting opportunity for those working in the Circular Economy sector. Krill Design is a startup, founded in October 2018, that puts design and technology at the service of the Circular Economy. In his speech, Ivan Calimani, first explained how the need to launch this startup was born from an understanding of just how critical it is that we redesign the way we think about waste. Every year in the world, hundreds of millions of tons of organic material are generated as waste and 98% of these materials end up in landfills to be incinerated or rot in open bins. European companies generate 88 million tons of waste per year, or 20% of all European food production, resulting in an economic loss of 143 billion euros per year. It is estimated that wasted food generates around 3.3 million tons of CO2 per year, representing about 8% of global emissions. This is why the food and beverage industry is looking for effective and sustainable solutions to recycle and reuse waste. In fact, food waste can be used today to realize raw materials for high-value products and help build a circular bioeconomy. Of course, new solutions often require a long phase of experimentation and don’t always prove beneficial to companies, but Krill Design has developed a Circular Economy model that starts and finishes within the same company, using the waste it produces to easily make a finished product. How does it work? How is it possible? Homogeneous food waste, such as peels, seeds, and shells, is transformed into a 100% biodegradable biopolymer. Through a 3D printer, it is then...
  • 27 April 2021

    Circular beer: Crumbs

    English Version Brave Brew is a Swedish company founded by three friends, Matt, Niclas and Julian, who were shocked to find out that 80,000 tons of bread are wasted every year in Sweden. They then asked themselves this question: what can you do with more than 200 tons of leftover bread per day? They came up with possibly one of the best answers: beer! This is how Crumbs was born: made from bread waste, Crumbs is a locally sourced, locally produced, delicious beer brewed using leftover bread which would otherwise be thrown away. Their motto is simple: “Less Waste, More Taste”. Brave Brew is not a brewery per se, but they work to collect bread that would otherwise be wasted and then they trust local experts to work their magic and turn this bread into delicious beer. Brave Brew has been running since March 2020. They started selling beer in June 2020 and have produced about 45,000 bottles of two different qualities of beer. The first one, Loafy Lager, has been produced in collaboration with Värmdö Brewery, a craft brewery from Stockholm. To produce this first beer, 30% of the grain count has been replaced with rescued bread. The result is a tasty, light lager with citrus notes and of course light bread. Brave Brew is now working with a new brewery with the goal to produce a third beer. The final objective for 2021 is to be able to systemise the bread collection to be able to scale production in other cities. Brave Brew is also working on the idea of producing a new beer using spent grain, which is a leftover of the brewing process. An ambitious goal Brave Brew also seeks to raise awareness on the issue of bread waste and to create an alternative circular and scalable...
  • By Giovanni Colombo, Senior Public Affairs Manager at EIT Food – from ReThink 2020 English Version EIT Food is one of the eight Knowledge and Innovation Communities created by the EU under the umbrella of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and is building an ecosystem to generate innovative solutions to make the food system more circular and bring these solutions to the market.  The “Circular Food Systems” is one of the six Focus Areas. EIT Food, as Europe’s leading food initiative, is working to make the food system more sustainable, healthy, and trusted.  It works in synergy with Europe’s leading agri-food companies, research institutes, universities, and startups to transform the food system and tackle some of the big societal challenges such as food waste. In the EU, around 88 million tonnes of food waste are generated annually, which represents 20% of food production and it is estimated that this could feed 200 million people. The production and disposal of this food waste generate 170 million tonnes of CO2 which accounts for 6% of greenhouse gas emissions of the European Union. The global cost is 870 billion euros. Today, the reduction of food waste is an opportunity because it could help to close the gap between the food needed to feed the planet in 2050 and the food that was available in 2010 by more than 20%. This has been recognized also by the UN SDGs target n° 12.3 which asks us to halve the food waste by 2030. In the European context, food waste covers food loss and food waste and it occurs at all stages of the value chain. Even though in Europe food waste occurs mostly at the consumption level, synergic efforts should be addressing the problem of food waste at all stages of the value chain. Colombo...
  • By Luca Bertolasi English Version Lac2Lab is a start-up currently under the constitution, whose project started in 2019. The team is made up of 4 co-founders, with different backgrounds: Paride Acierno and Luca Bertolasi for the economic-business area, Lorenzo Ippolito, and Arianna Palladini for the R&D and production area. Cell cultures are a laboratory technique that aims to reproduce biological phenomena through the growth of certain cell lines within laboratory slides, in a controlled artificial environment. The growth and proliferation of cells are guaranteed through nutrition, given by the FBS (Fetal Bovine Serum), which has various problems concerning the ethical, economic, and qualitative sphere. First, FBS is produced by killing bovine fetuses, and about 2 million of them are killed each year. Furthermore, the FBS has a considerable cost, and the cheaper variants are produced in South America, where herd control isn’t comparable to Italian standards. An ethical and sustainable product The purpose of Lac2Lab is therefore to place on the market a substitute product for FBS, totally ethical towards animals, obtained by reusing a material that would otherwise be wasted: cow’s milk. Indeed, approximately 116 million tons of milk and dairy products are wasted every year around the world. An in-depth analysis of the dairy market was conducted, in particular by examining the relationships between producer, distributor, and the final consumer. This analysis highlighted how to milk waste is an intrinsic problem in the supply chain. The Lac2Lab product is born from the requalification of expired or expiring cow’s milk, no longer destined for food consumption, to be used in Life Science technologies. This guarantees production based on a circular and sustainable economy. The whey, suitably transformed through original processes and replacing the FBS within the cell cultures, also reduces the distances between the additive manufacturer and users: the...
  • 19 March 2021

    Circularity from Farm to Fork

    By Francesco Cagnola English Version Once you get to know the functioning of the food system, it is possible to realize that the global dimensions and the complexity of the relationships between the stakeholders involved in this field have become extremely difficult to understand and analyze. Furthermore, paying attention to the transition required for a more sustainable food system that is in harmony with nature, it is clear that this is an environmental as well as an economic-social problem. In order to succeed in this paradigm shift, it is important that this complexity is understood as much as possible by everyone. Although it is a fundamental aspect, the management of organic waste is only one of the necessary actions to be implemented: to reach lasting benefits over time it is necessary to deal with reduction and reuse, as well as focus on recycling processes. On the other hand, understanding the system at the micro level – individual consumers and/or individual companies, meso level – industrial poles, and macro level – city, region, nation, is difficult for everyone. The same is true when trying to understand the management of some thorny situations – or trade-offs – that must be faced during the transition to sustainable systems (for example, the debate regarding the production gap of biological techniques, which have a lower production at equal size cultivated with respect to industrial techniques). Three principles for a circular food system Below, in an attempt to clarify the complexities mentioned above, we refer to the 3 principles introduced by the Ellen McArthur Foundation, and we will follow the path that leads from the producer to the consumer. The latter is explicitly mentioned in the title of the new EU strategy (“From Farm to Fork”, that is “From Farm to Fork”), but few of the non-experts...
  • 5 February 2021

    Spreco alimentare in Italia

    Spreco alimentare: una giornata per combatterlo By Sara Salerno – Circular Economy Analyst at Tondo Versione Italiano Oggi, 5 Febbraio, è la Giornata Nazionale per la prevenzione dello spreco alimentare ormai arrivata alla sua ottava edizione. È stata istituita nel 2014 quando su iniziativa dell’agroeconomista Andrea Segrè, coordinatore del Piano Nazionale di Prevenzione dello Spreco Alimentare (PINPAS) del Ministero dell’Ambiente, vennero convocati gli Stati generali della filiera agroalimentare italiana. Ed è da allora che questa giornata è stata inserita nella Campagna Spreco Zero. Ogni anno in questa occasione l’Osservatorio Waste Watcher, ideato da Last Minute Market e sviluppato con la partnership di SWG, presenta i risultati annuali dei monitoraggi condotti a livello nazionale sullo spreco alimentare domestico e sulle abitudini che gli Italiani hanno rispetto all’utilizzo del cibo. L’Osservatorio Waste Watcher, che ormai è diventato un punto di riferimento sia a livello nazionale che europeo, fornisce strumenti di comprensione delle dinamiche sociali e comportamentali che sono alla base della generazione dello spreco alimentare all’interno dei nuclei famigliari. Gli studi condotti dall’Osservatorio consentono, difatti, di produrre conoscenza, cultura e supporto per la progettazione di attività pubbliche o private mirate alla riduzione dello spreco che si perpetua all’interno delle mura domestiche. Lo spreco alimentare è infatti un tema fondamentale che risulta avere un impatto trasversale su economia, società e ambiente. Secondo il Food Sustainability Index in Italia buttiamo in media ogni anno circa 65 Kg a testa di alimenti. Tuttavia, secondo i dati pubblicati nel rapporto dell’Osservatorio Waste Watcher del 2020 lo spreco alimentare degli Italiani ha subìto per la prima volta un calo del 25% rispetto all’anno precedente: infatti si è passati da gettare settimanalmente 6,6€ a 4,9 €. Questo calo si é tradotto in un risparmio di circa 1 miliardo e mezzo su tutto il territorio nazionale, a riprova che...
  • 4 September 2020

    ilVespaio

    English Version ilVespaio is a network of free-lance designers with a focus on ecodesign and sustainability. A team of creatives, researchers and educators promotes awareness on social and environmental issues, organizing workshops, events, contests and educational exhibitions with companies, local authorities, schools and families. Why ilVespaio? IlVespaio was founded by the graphic designer Stefano Castiglioni and the product designer Alessandro Garlandini in 2008, based on the idea of designing and producing promotional merchandise made of re-used production scraps and other materials. A circular promotional item unique and customized, instead than cheap junk imported from Asia. We called ourselves ilVespaio, the Italian word for wasp nest, because we were looking for a name from the natural world recalling movement, dynamism and creative chaos. Wasps are usually considered useless, annoying insects. However, they are very important for the ecosystem and for impollination, but, unlike bees, they proudly refuse to be tamed and don’t like to work for humans. They use attics to create their nests, instead! Our first project was a production of bags for the Provincia di Varese made of reused non-woven banners, reclaimed along the race route during the Varese World Championship Road Race 2008. Since then, we did many projects all sharing the same approach based on interactivity, playfulness, and care for design and graphics. The team has grown: designers Sebastiano Ercoli and Clara Giardina and videomaker Luca Orioli joined ilVespaio and other collaborators are helping us on specific projects. We strongly believe that citizens play a crucial role in the transition towards circular economy and that we need to focus on education especially of children and new generations. We have developed projects to raise awareness on environmental issues and to promote conscious behaviours. Every medium is strategic to convey messages that are important to us: exhibitions, outdoor events,...
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