PhD defence: Mind the Gaps! – Legislative means of Incentivizing a Circular Food System


Many contemporary global environmental problems are rooted in overexploitation of natural resources. This research looks at over-exploitation and a lack of circularity in the context of the agricultural food system.

Despite biotechnological methods being available for the recovery of nutrients and organic matter from waste streams, many of these have not yet been applied to their full potential in the EU. This research identifies legislative gaps and analyses how these may be hampering the circular management of valuable organic resources from bio-waste (VFG) and sludge waste in two EU Member States, the Netherlands and Croatia.

Using an interdisciplinary, comparative and empirical methodology, the study first maps legislative and policy gaps and barriers at the EU, national and municipal levels (and explains why they are occurring). Second, it identifies which legislative and policy tools are needed to overcome these barriers. The findings indicate a need for: treatment facilities focusing on anaerobic digestion and composting in the short-term; a better balance regarding the quantity of legislation in this field (and its focus); a review of institutional power balance at different stages of the resource lifecycle; and a better balancing of possibly conflicting public interest objectives.

Start date and time
End date and time
University Hall, Domplein 29, Utrecht (invitees) and online (via link)
PhD candidate
M. Kajić
Mind the Gaps! Legislative means of Incentivizing a Circular Food System through Recovery of Non-Renewable Resources from Waste
PhD supervisor(s)
prof. mr. dr. A. van den Brink
prof. dr. C.W. Backes
dr. ir. M.H.A. van Eekert