European Commission aims for new rights to support markets for alternative phosphate sources



The European Commission’s proposed new regulations for Europe-wide certification of fertilisers made from organic and waste materials represents a first move towards a circular economy. Sewage sludge is excluded as a source for certifiable products, but the Commission hopes to gain powers that will allow it to include the types of innovative products and technologies that are emerging. Keith Hayward reports.

When the European Commission published its new circular economy strategy document in December last year, its aim was to help set Europe on a new path, one that moves away from the unsustainable single use of valuable resources. Fertilisers, especially inorganic phosphates, are exactly the type of resource that it would have had in mind.

This is why the first proposed measures to be brought forward following publication of the strategy are ones that overhaul regulations under which the currently dominant inorganic fertilisers can obtain Europe-wide certification, making it easier for them to be sold across the EU. The new regulations put forward by the Commission now include organic and waste materials as sources that can be used in products seeking certification. Such sources have to date been subject to country by country approvals. The new regulations gives them equal opportunity to gain certification.

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  • Europe, resource recovery, phosphates