Skip to Content

Other nutrients

Nutrient recycling and circular economy

Why nutrient recycling is important?

Both phosphorus and nitrogen play critical roles as nutrients, promoting plant growth and sustaining food production. However, when these valuable resources end up in the wrong locations, exceed the required levels, and are inefficiently utilized, they transform into significant problems. The current methods of nutrient utilization are unsustainable, both on a global scale and in Finland. A substantial part of essential nutrients is lost at various stages of the food supply chain, from primary production to households, ultimately finding their way into waters bodies, and contribute to eutrophication.

There is an urgent need to enhance nutrient recycling on land and curtail their runoff into the sea, aiming to minimize the detrimental impact on the Baltic Sea. Implementing these measures would effectively conserve e.g. phosphorus resources for the benefit of future generations.

In the process of nutrient recycling, biomass or other materials containing nutrients are harnessed and managed in a way that facilitates their reintegration into the plant growth cycle. These recycled materials can either be directly used or processed into products, materials, or raw materials.


Benefits of nutrient recycling

Nutrient recycling presents a fundamental pillar for the resource-efficient circular economy and transition towards a greener economy. Efficient recycling of agricultural nutrients plays a pivotal role in enhancing food security, bolstering energy self-sufficiency, and improving state of water bodies. As such, organic side streams and recycled biomass can serve as the raw material for renewable energy and fertilizer products, as well as further manufactured to be used as substitution for peat.  Effective nutrient recycling practices help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration and storage and fortify the foundations of sustainable agriculture. In the long term, constantly generated organic side streams could potentially replace the need for mineral fertilizers.

By developing sustainable nutrient recycling solutions, we not only protect the environment and human health but also stimulate economic growth, job creation, and export opportunities.


Please find more information about different aspects of nutrient recycling below:

Back top top