To give visibility to various actions that are being carried out both in Spain and in other parts of Europe related to Circular Economy in the agri-food industry, AINIA, an organization that offers solutions in innovation and technology, organized on September 30 the 4th International Technical Conference: Water Management of the Agrifood Industries where the Water2REturn project was presented. In this event, issues related to the reuse of waste and process waters were addressed; the possible initiatives that the agri-food sector can adopt for sustainable water management or its regeneration and reuse as part of the company's comprehensive water management.
The current legal and regulatory framework related to the purification and reuse of water in the food industry is of special interest due to the needs and opportunities it represents as a way to improve the sustainability of its management in the food sector.
Within the session dedicated to successful business experiences, Alejandro Caballero, Bioazul Product Manager, presented the Water2Return system, in which compounds of interest present in slaughterhouse wastewater are recovered, for the extraction and subsequent preparation of agronomic products.
Alfredo Rodrigo, member of the AINIA Department of Environment, highlighted the importance of water as an essential natural resource within the food chain, “from the stage of agricultural production of raw materials, through their transformation in food industries, to consumption end of food by consumers. In this sense, the use of water indicators allows food industries to quantify, evaluate and improve the management of this resource and the wastewater generated, whose scope can be limited to a specific stage of the food chain or to the entire cycle of product life "
The reduction of water consumption in industrial activity, recycling or purification of waste streams to reduce their environmental impact and regeneration, together with the disinfection and recovery of these wastewater for reuse, have been added as part of the solutions to be provided. in order to improve the management and improve the quality of the waste. In turn, it was proposed that the circular economy represents a paradigm shift in which wastewater goes from being a simple waste, to being treated as a rich source of resources that can be recovered through technological innovation.