Norms and regulations

Circular economy, fertilizers first of all

Questo post è disponibile anche in: Italian

The EU Commission proposes a regulation to encourage the use of fertilizers from bio waste. Now it is up to the EU Parliament.

Circular economy restarts from the earth. On March 17th, the EU Commission passed one of its first moves to implement the Circular Economy Package adopted in December 2015: the Commission approved a regulation meant to significantly ease the usage of organic fertilizers based on waste from the European market, by giving them the same status as non-organic fertilizers. This will create new marketing opportunities for innovative companies, while also reducing waste, energy consumption and environmental impact.

Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “Very few of the abundant bio-waste resources are transformed into valuable fertilising products. Our farmers are using fertilisers manufactured from imported resources or from energy-intensive processes although our industry could valorise these bio-wastes in recycled nutrients. This Regulation will help us turn problems into opportunities for farmers and businesses.”

The new regulation imposes common rules for the conversion of organic waste into raw materials for fertilizers. It also defines common safety, quality and labelling criteria for all fertilizers marketed within the EU, in addition to limits for polluting agents and impurities.

The new rules are going to be applied to all types of fertilizer, in order to guarantee the highest soil protection levels. The regulation introduces strict limits for cadmium in phosphate-based fertilizers: the levels will pass from 60 mg/kg to 40 mg/kg after 3 years, up to 20 mg/kg after 12 years.

The regulation draft will soon be sent to the European Parliament and to the Council to be fully adopted. After this step, the rule will be applied directly, without the need to be implemented by national laws, after a transition period that will allow companies and public authorities to adapt to the new norms.

For more information, read the note of the European Commission.

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