To stay wealthy in a world where all can live in prosperity and wellbeing, it is necessary to develop sustainable growth at net zero emissions to stop climate change, neutralizing both risks and diseases such as the COVID-19 pandemic and inequalities. Changing the
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To stay wealthy in a world where all can live in prosperity and wellbeing, it is necessary to develop sustainable growth at net zero emissions to stop climate change, neutralizing both risks and diseases such as the COVID-19 pandemic and inequalities. Changing the worldwide use of the great quantity of food loss and waste can help to move in this direction. At this purpose, it seems useful to transform food waste into richness, extracting and using its content in natural ingredients and biopolymers to make new sustainable products and goods, including cosmetics and medical devices. Many of these ingredients are not only bioactive molecules considered of interest to produce these consumer products but are also useful in reducing the environmental footprint. The active agents may be obtained, for example, from waste material such as grapes or olive pomace, which include, among others natural polymers, phythosterols, vitamins, minerals and unsaturated fatty acids. Among the polymers, chitin and lignin have shown particular interest because biodegradable, nontoxic, skin- and environmentally friendly ingredients can be obtained at low cost from food and forestry waste, respectively. According to our experience, these polymers may be used to make nanocomposites and micro-nanoparticles that encapsulate different active ingredients, and which may be embedded into gel and non-woven tissues to realize advanced medications and smart cosmeceuticals. However, to utilize food waste in the best possible way, a better education of both industry and the consumer is considered necessary, introducing all to change the ways of production and living. The consumer has to understand the need to privilege, food, cosmetics and goods by selecting products known to be effective that also have a low release of carbon dioxide. Thus, they must pay heed to purchasing cosmetics and medical devices made by natural ingredients and packaged by biodegradable and/or reusable containers that are possibly plastic free. Conversely, the industry must try to use natural raw materials obtained from waste by changing their actual production methods. Therefore, both industry and the consumer should depart from the linear economy, which is based on taking, making, and producing waste, to move into a circular economy, which is based on redesigning, reducing, reusing and recycling. Some examples will report on the possibility to use natural polymers, including chitin and lignin, to produce new cosmeceutical tissues. These innovative tissues, to be used as biodegradable carriers for making smart cosmetics and medical devices, may be produced at zero waste to save our health and the planet biodiversity.