LIFE Project Cover Photo

Pilot plant for insect protein production from biowaste as sustainable alternative to fish and soy meal for animal feed

Reference: LIFE18 ENV/DE/000011 | Acronym: LIFE Waste2Protein



The worlds demand for animal protein is on the rise as population and food needs increase. An expected 75% rise in demand by 2050 compared to 2007 (World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision) will negatively impact the environment through deforestation for soy production and overfishing for aquaculture feeding.

This growth will also result in greater greenhouse gas emissions, loss of biodiversity, an increase in antibiotic resistant genes through widespread use of antibiotics in aquaculture, and higher levels of organic waste. Only 25% of biowaste is currently recycled into high quality compost and digestate (European Compost Network), with the majority going to landfill or being incinerated.

Insect protein meal is a resource-efficient, sustainable and environmentally-friendly alternative for animal feedstuff to replace fish and soy meal.


The overall aim of LIFE Waste2Protein is to foster the use of biowaste as a resource to produce insect proteins from Black soldier flies (BSF). It will install a modular pilot plant to breed 300 tonnes of BSF larvae in different development stages. This will need an input of 20 tonnes of biowaste per day to feed the BSF larvae, delivered from local supermarket chains.

Tests will be performed to optimise the quality and quantity of the protein and to achieve a high level of system automatisation.

The project contributes to the implementation of waste legislation including the Waste Framework Directive, the Circular Economy Package and the Landfill Directive. Furthermore, it contributes to the Common Fisheries Policy, the EU action plan against antimicrobial resistance, and the 2050 low-carbon economy roadmap.


Expected results:

  • installation of a pilot plant for insect protein production at large scale with an annual production capacity by 2022 of 730 tonnes of insect protein, 3 650 tonnes of substrate for fertilisers and 365 tonnes of high-value fat from 7 300 tonnes of biowaste;
  • 80% reduction in costs for industrial production of 1 tonne of insect protein compared to conventional methods;
  • environmental benefits compared to fish and soy meal productions of: - reduced CO2 emissions by 70% compared to fish meal and 50% compared to soy meal; - from 80% toalmost complete reduction of water consumption; - 66% reduction of energy consumption compared to fish meal and at least 10% reduction compared to soy meal; - 40% reduction in greenhouse gases (mainly methane) compared to composting biowaste.
  • preparation of two replication projects with a total annual input of almost 22.000 tonnes of waste and almost 2 200 tonnes of protein installed in Poland and the Czech Republic;
  • at least eight jobs created by 2022 at madebymade and another 50 jobs by 2027 as a result of replication of the Waste2Protein technology.

    Reference: LIFE18 ENV/DE/000011
    Acronym: LIFE Waste2Protein
    Start Date: 15/07/2019
    End Date: 14/01/2023
    Total Eligible Budget: 2,250,912 €
    EU Contribution: 1,238,001 €
    Project Location:


    Coordinating Beneficiary: madebymade GmbH
    Legal Status: PCO
    Address: Lbener Weg 7, 04523, Pegau, Deutschland
    Contact Person: Kai HEMPEL
    Email: Send Email
    Website: Visit Website

    LIFE Project Map



    • GHG reduction in non EU ETS sectors
    • Waste recycling


    • Agriculture
    • recycling
    • organic waste
    • environmental friendly procurement
    • animal foodstuff
    • animal husbandry
    • climate change mitigation


    • Directive 1999/31 - Landfill of waste (26.04.1999)
    • Directive 75/442/EEC -"Waste framework directive" (15.07.1975)
    • COM(2015)614 - "Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy" (02.12.2015)
    • COM(2011)885 - EU 2050 Energy Roadmap (15.12.2011)


    Name Type
    SST(Schulz Systemtechnik GmbH), Germany Participant