DG Environment seeks views on the sustainable use of phosphorous
8 July 2013 – 1 December 2013
The European Commission, Directorate-General Environment, is inviting views on how to use phosphorous more sustainably. It has issued a Consultative Communication, which is intended to draw attention to phosphorus use and to initiate a debate on the actions that should be considered to make sure it is available for future generations. European Institutions and other interested stakeholders and citizens have until 1 December 2013 to comment on the issue. Read more…
Phosphorous is widely used in the agricultural sector across Europe as an essential component in fertilisers and animal feed. However, it is a non-renewable resource in limited supply and is currently being used at an unsustainable rate with much being wasted. Phosphorous losses to the environment can have undesirable effects, notably on water and soil, and contaminants in mined phosphorus may also impact human health.
The European Commission believes that efficient production and use, as well as recycling and minimisation of waste, will result in major strides being made towards greater phosphorous resource efficiency. The consultation is designed to raise awareness of the issue and help shape the European Union’s contribution towards the sustainable use of phosphorus.
Questions include whether the information on the worldwide supply and demand of phosphate rock and fertiliser is sufficiently available, transparent and reliable; how the risk of soil contamination linked to phosphorus use should be handled; and what can be done to improve the recovery of phosphorus from food and other biodegradable waste. The document also asks whether information on phosphorous recycling in agriculture is adequate, and what innovative methods and technologies could be used to promote a more resource-efficient use.
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