On the 2nd December 2014, Kirsty Ross on behalf of Lancaster University attended the European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform Constitutive General Assembly in Brussels, Belgium. Here, the Platform was established as a legal entity by the agreement and signing of the statutes.
The European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP) has been functioning since March 2013 as a means for stakeholders (rather than individuals) in both industry and research to positively contribute and facilitate EU policy, first and foremost regarding phosphorus (P). In addition, ESPP aims to raise the awareness of P not only in the political arena, but also in the scientific and public domain as the sustainable management of P is vital for industry, agriculture, food, water and the environment. Discussions at the meeting included policy development, ESPP actions and outreach, status of P/P-rock on the EU Critical Raw Materials list.
One of the most notable and discussed topics was the recent publication (May, 2014) of the updated EU Critical Raw Materials list, on which ‘Phosphate Rock’ is identified among 19 other raw materials that are considered to be critical by the European Commission. It was proposed that ‘Phosphate Rock’ should be replaced by simply ‘Phosphorus’ (the element in any form), as it was felt that ‘Phosphate Rock’ was unclear and misleading in terms of its recyclability (rock perhaps cannot be recycled by phosphate by-products can be and are). However, the listing of P on such a list can and will only drive developments in both political and research agendas to enhance its sustainable use.
Lancaster aims to continue contributing to the SCOPE newsletter, and all community members are invited to review relevant, new, exciting research in the phosphorus arena!