BONUS RETURN – Turning waste into circular solutions for the Baltic Sea

BONUS RETURN is exploring how ecotechnologies can turn nutrients and carbon from environmental problems into circular solutions in the Baltic Sea Region.

The Baltic Sea is one of the planet’s most vulnerable ecosystems. It is surrounded by a huge drainage area four times as large as the sea itself, inhabited by 85 million people in a landscape dominated by intense agriculture and forestry which generates large amounts of nutrients. In the Baltic Sea, these nutrients cause eutrophication, harmful algae blooms, and eventually marine dead zones, but on land, they are essentially the foundation for food production. This means that valuable resources are not only going too waste; they are also killing our oceans.

What social and technical innovations exist to turn nutrients from sources of waste into circular solutions? What are the barriers and opportunities for implementation and upscaling of these innovations faced by the Baltic Sea Region?

BONUS RETURN contributes with evidence-based research to address these questions by applying a variety of methodologies drawing from scientific, empirical and local knowledge.


Funding: BONUS RETURN has received funding from BONUS (Art 185), funded jointly by the EU and Formas, A Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development; Sweden’s innovation agency, Vinnova; Academy of Finland; and the National Centre for Research and Development in Poland.

Duration: May 2017 – April 2020

Project coordinator: Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)

Project partners:

  • Warsaw University of Life Sciences (WULS)
  • Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)
  • Uppsala University(UU)
  • Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE)
  • University of Copenhagen (UCPH)​