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Open Access Articles

Get ready to be inspired by the biological side of the circular economy with four open access articles

Biology and the circular economy

Circular economy and biology intersect in a number of critical areas that have the potential to transform the way we approach resource use and waste management. Biomimicry, for example, involves drawing inspiration from biological systems to develop products and systems that can optimize resource use and minimize waste. Biodegradable materials, which can be safely degraded by natural biological processes, can help to reduce the accumulation of waste in the environment. Similarly, the use of bio-based products can help to reduce our reliance on non-renewable resources. For example, by using biological resources, such as plant-based materials, as a feedstock for the production of goods and services. Bioremediation, or using biological processes and organisms to clean up pollution and waste, can also help to address environmental challenges. Finally, circular economy principles can be applied in agriculture and food systems to minimize waste, reduce environmental impacts, and promote sustainable practices. By embracing these intersections between biology and circular economy, we can work towards a more sustainable future that prioritizes the health of both our planet and our communities.

  • This paper proposes a framework for assessing the indicators of the circular economy in biological systems.

  • The framework covers three main areas: resource management, waste management, and product design and development.

  • This paper highlights the importance of considering biological systems in the circular economy and provides a roadmap for measuring and assessing the circularity of such systems.


  • This paper highlights the potential of biocatalysis and biomass conversion as enabling technologies for a circular economy.

  • It discusses various examples of biocatalytic processes and biomass conversion technologies that can be used to produce a range of products including chemicals, fuels, and materials.

  • The paper also emphasizes the need for sustainable and efficient processes, as well as the importance of considering the entire life cycle of products in the circular economy.


  • This paper proposes the implementation of a bio-based circular economy model in Poland's organic waste management and wastewater treatment systems.

  • The authors emphasize the need for a holistic approach that includes both technical and socio-economic aspects to enable a successful transition to a bio-based circular economy.

  • The paper highlights the potential benefits of this model, including the production of bioenergy, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and the creation of job opportunities in the green economy sector.


  • Fungal biotechnology has significant potential for supporting a circular economy, including in areas such as waste management, resource recovery, and sustainable production of food, fuel, and other products.

  • To fully realize this potential, there is a need for increased collaboration between fungal researchers and practitioners across various sectors, as well as for the development of new policies and regulations that support the adoption of circular practices.

  • The paper highlights several key research and development priorities for advancing the use of fungal biotechnology in the circular economy, including improving genetic tools and resources for studying fungal biology, optimizing fermentation and bioprocess engineering, and exploring new applications and value chains for fungal-derived products.

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