Supportive Regulations and Standards to Encourage a Level Playing Field for the Bio-based Economy

Supportive Regulations and Standards to Encourage a Level Playing Field for the Bio-based Economy

Luana Ladu, Minique Vrins
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/IJSR.2019010104
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A favourable regulatory and standardization framework is a prerequisite for establishing a cutting-edge bio-based economy in Europe. This article presents an overview of existing regulatory and standardization barriers that are hampering the market uptake of bio-based products. Among others, they include: i) the lack of a level playing field vis-à-vis biofuels and fossil-based products; ii) the lack of generally accepted end-of-life routes for bio-based products; and iii) the existence of standards designed for fossil-based materials that do not match market practises. Based on the results of a 2-round Delphi survey, proposals are formed to overcome the identified barriers. These solutions are thereafter verified by stakeholders through additional interviews and a workshop. Finally, recommendations were drafted to update the current regulatory and standardization framework. More specifically, the adoption of relevant principles for the cascading use of biomassthe use of alternative innovative feedstock (e.g. waste) and the update of existing standards (e.g. compostability) are proposed.
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Literature Review, Research Objectives And Methodology

Systematic foresight investigations with a focus on technologies, regulations and standards allow better decision-making towards the enabling of a bio-based economy (Ladu and Quitzow, 2017). It is indeed a challenge to establish a flexible regulatory framework that can adapt to the pace of change of innovations and new technologies. Foresight investigations can be defined as a structured dialogue among stakeholders on possible future developments (Giaoutzi and Sapio, 2013). It represents a relevant policy instrument and decision-making tool based on the following features: anticipation, participation, networking, vision and action (Vecchiato and Roveda, 2014). Blind (2008) proposed three methodologies for conducting regulatory foresight:

  • i)

    A first approach that uses science and technology indicators for identifying possible fields that may cause challenges for the regulatory framework.

  • ii)

    A second approach based on surveys that enable regulatory bodies to identify future needs for regulations.

  • iii)

    A Delphi methodology involving multiple survey rounds.

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