Plastic bottles and fast food boxes – our earth is being littered and important raw materials are becoming scarce! What possibilities do we have for a sustainable development of our planet? What should be changed in the future? How can we reduce plastic and packaging waste in everyday life to protect nature and the environment? And what opportunities do new concepts such as the bio-economy offer for this?
On the 28th of October 2020, Dr. Leonie Göbel from Research Center Jülich held an online seminar for students in grade 11-13 tackling exactly these questions. She started with an explanation of bioeconomy by using everyday bio economic products (e.g. disposable dishes made from sugar beet pulp) and concepts (e.g. algae for wastewater treatment).
So what does bioeconomy mean? Bioeconomy means sustainable and bio-based management. Plants and microorganisms are the main tools used in this process. Cycles from nature serve as a model. The aim is to avoid waste and at the same time protect the environment and resources such as soil and water.
In North-Rhein-Westphalia, the Rhenish mining district will be the first to withdraw from lignite mining by 2038. What does this mean for the region, which has been strongly influenced by lignite mining to date? A challenge and an opportunity at the same time: the abandonment of fossil resources will enable the transition to a sustainable, bio-based economy, the bio-economy. The Rhenish mining district is to be developed as a model region for sustainable economic activity and thus serve as a role model.
Ms Göbel discussed these developments with the students and possible future scenarios have been explored.