Insect farming could be 'game-changer' for Scotland's circular economy

Written by: Jo Gallacher | Published:
Black Soldier Fly larvae feed on organic residues, offering a solution to food waste and protein processes. Image: Wikimedia

Insect farming could be become a valuable part of Scotland’s circular economy according to a new report from Zero Waste Scotland.

Black Soldier Fly larvae feed on organic residues, including from food manufacturing and agriculture, therefore reducing food waste.

This then fattens them up and means the larvae can be processed and used in high quality salmon feed rather than using wild caught fish.

The byproducts can also be processed and turned into biodiesel, chitin and fertiliser.

Zero Waste Scotland’s report, Black Soldier Fly A Circular Economy Solution for Scotland, estimates the process could prevent waste in the pre-consumer supply chain, generate carbon savings and £114 of economic value per tonne of waste processed.

Insect farming is already gaining popularity across the EU with companies and governments making large investments in the process.

Michael Lenaghan, environmental policy advisor at Zero Waste Scotland, said: “With a huge salmon farming sector, Scotland would be well-placed to explore this opportunity, which has the potential to be a green and financially lucrative way of dealing with some of our commercial food waste.

“We don’t expect insect farming to replace methods such as anaerobic digestion or composting. But with food waste the most carbon intensive waste source in Scotland, anything we can do to effectively recycle it could make a big contribution to the fight against climate change.”

The report has been produced in preparation for a stakeholder workshop in Edinburgh on 7 February.

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