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Consultation: Sustainable use of phosphorus

The European Commission launched a consultation on how to use phosphorus in a more sustainable way. Phosphorus is widely used in agriculture and is an essential component in fertilizer and feed, but it is a non-renewable resource. Supplies are limited and much phosphorus is currently wasted, creating concerns about future supplies in the EU and worldwide. The consultation asks how to ensure that reserves are available for future generations, and about ways to minimise the undesirable side effects phosphorus use can have on the environment. The consultation seeks to launch a debate on phosphorus use and ways to make it more resource-efficient. The communication invites the European Institutions and all interested stakeholders to comment on the issue where one of the considerations includes requiring water treatment works to recover phosphorus for use in agricultural fertilizers. Doing so could cut water pollution, improve security of supply and reduce the risk of soil contamination. Whilst there is no draft legislation in preparation at the present time, EU law already requires phosphorus to be removed from urban wastewater but not necessarily in a reusable form that often leads to increased waste. Go to consultation.

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Issue 25