Circular model

The reuse of raw materials that are now disposed as waste is one of the key principles of the Circular economy package adopted in December 2015. About 2% of the world's energy is used to produce synthetic nitrogen fertilisers. The EU is also highly dependent on imports of phosphates. Around 90% of the phosphate rock used to produce fertilisers is imported. Considering the expected global population growth and the related increase of food demand, it is expected that the demand for nitrogen and phosphate fertilisers will grow. Therefore, there is a need to find alternative plant food sources such as recycling nutrients. Phosphorus and nitrogen cycles are subject to losses in the environment, as well. The leaching of nutrients into the environment has led to deterioration of surface water through eutrophication. Other valuable nutrients are wasted and end up in landfills instead of being recycled for plant nutrition. By implementing circular economy models, the value of raw materials and energy used in products could be maintained in recycled products and contribute to a more resource efficient Europe.