Fertilizer Focus | Creating a Circular Economy for Phosphorus Fertilizers
By Matt Scholz, Ph.D. Program Manager, Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance and Senior Sustainability Scientist, Arizona State University’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
September-October 2017 – Full article in PDF
The decades-old concept of the circular economy has become a standard way to frame solutions to environmental problems that stem from linear value chains, that is, value chains that begin with the extraction of a natural resource and end with its disposal. In theory, by keeping materials in play, we prevent them from becoming pollutants, minimize the amount of environmental damage inflicted by extraction, and reduce the acreage required for landfilling waste. This thinking has found purchase in the field of nutrient management through programmes and initiatives such as the US EPA’s Nutrient Recycling Challenge and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Urban Biocycles Initiative.