Anaerobic digestion as an option of the end-of-life phase of bio-based products in the light of the EU regulations
A distinguishing feature of the sustainable bioeconomy is multi-product biomass processing in the form of a closed circulation of matter and energy, in addition to a life cycle assessment that includes end-of-life options of a product and restitution of the environment. This approach is in-line with the good practice principles of sustainable development. However, the market of bio-based products grows faster than its legal regulation. Gaps in the regulations pertaining to standardisation, certification and labelling mean that bio-based products and their processing technologies may not adhere to the guidelines of sustainable development (“greenwashing”). In the European Union, the only standard addressing criteria of sustainable development with respect to bio-based products is the standard CEN-TC411 EN 16751:2016. In the context of anaerobic fermentation and its products as an option of the end-of-life phase of a bio-base product, the applicable regulations are contained in the technical report CEN-TC411 TR 16957:2016, Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC, and several intermediate regulations concerning the utilisation of water, energy efficiency, agricultural production and processing, circulation of nitrogen in the environment, storage and disposal, and others.
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