The hidden value of agrifood sector residues

LOOP Cluster


European regions crucial actors and drivers for the implementation of circular ecosystems and value chains. As such, the LOOP cluster came to life as a joint, bottom-up initiative of the four sister projects Agro2Circular, CIRCULAR FOAM, EcoeFISHent, and FRONTSH1P, all funded under the same Horizon 2020 GD3.2 call to demonstrate systemic solutions for the territorial deployment of the circular economy in European regions and their further replication. As all four projects share the same goal a regular exchange and deep cooperation seemed and seems only natural.

The wheel to be reinvented

The agri-food context needs to evolve

  • 40% of food wasted is from fruit & vegetables (F&V) sector.
  • Inefficiencies and complexity of sorting and recycling of multilayer plastic films (MPF) make landfilling (34% of the total MPF waste) and incineration (66%) the only available option, to date.
  • There’s a lack of an economic & environmentally sustainable value chain for the upcycling of F&V residues and multilayer plastic into high added value products.
  • There’s a lack of demonstrated and replicable systemic solutions for the territorial deployment of the circular economy

The wheel of change

The hidden value of agri-food residues, revealed and boosted through a circular approach

A2C is EU project boosting the upcycling of agri-food wastes (from F&V and MPF) through innovative routes of valorisation, leading to high extraction yields, bioactives with the purity and stability required to be used for the production of new food, cosmetic and nutraceutical formulation.

  • MPF Recycling: a novel combination of sorting, physical delamination, enzymatic depolymerisation, decontamination and mechanical recycling.
  • Upcycling of the recycled MPF, through biotransformation processes and extensional flow mix.

The whole process and products will be traceable through an innovative ICT platform functioning as predictive tool for decision support (DIS – data integration system).


Reducing the consumption of primary materials (fossil, biomass and metal ores) in >13,000 ktonnes

Improve sustainability and circularity of clusters’ economic sectors, natural ecosystems, management and valorisation of local resources


Decreasing >27,000 ktonnes CO2 eq emissions


15 new key exploitable results and >30 new circular business models, generating a turnover of 166.8M€


Job creation: short term (26) -> medium term (295) -> through replication (590-2655)


>30 business ideas and establishment of >100 local alliances

Circularity is the answer

The compass for the provision of sustainable, territorial systemic solutions

This circular approach will be shaped around a multidimensional model enabling adoption and scalability of territorial systemic solutions while being sustainable, regenerative, inclusive, fair, boosting urban&regional economies, empowering all actors (citizens, industries, decision makers, academia) and fostering circular practices.

Radial points turning the tide

Anchored to the territory, ready to be scaled up

The A2C approach will be tested in the Región de Murcia (Spain) and replicated in other two other EU countries (Italy and Lithuania), backed up by a circular business model and strong public engagement and co-creation processes, maximizing replicability and scalability.


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