Phosphorus (P) is a non-renewable resource, nonsubstitutable for agriculture and food production and directly linked to global food security, as well as being important in a range of other industrial and technical uses.
The world’s mineral phosphate reserves are finite, so that although there is debate about their extent and extractability and about their geographical concentration, the need for phosphorus stewardship will endure, generating new jobs and business opportunities.
At the same time, P losses pose major environmental issues. Phosphorus is the principal contributor to surface water quality failure (eutrophication) in much of Europe, whilst Europe’s population eats around twice as much P as is required for health and globally the P footprint of human diets continues to increase.
These issues have synergies with other challenges, including sustainable biosolids management, nitrogen and micro-nutrients, soil organic carbon, soil erosion, water treatment, food waste, contaminants and food safety, global food security. Improving the efficiency of P processing and use, in industry, agriculture, livestock production, food processing and diet, and developing P reuse or recovery-recycling can save money, contribute to reducing nutrient pollution, and create jobs in the circular economy.
European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform SCOPE Newsletter firstname.lastname@example.org www.phosphorusplatform.eu @phosphorusfacts March 2015 - n° 111 page 3