On 11 March 2020 the College of Commissioners of the European Union discussed and adopted the new Circular Economy Action Plan which should set a framework to reduce waste, deliver clean material loops, increase recycling capacity and get secondary raw materials market working, inter alia. After years struggling to get the Commission on board, ECN welcomes recognition that “high quality recycling relies on effective separate collection of waste”. On the other hand, ECN warmly recommends the Commission to focus more on measures that effectively promote uptake of high-quality recycled compost in products to decouple growth from resource use.
Separate collection of bio-waste from households will become mandatory in 2023, following correct implementation of the provisions of the Revised Waste Framework Directive. ECN welcomes the proposal to “harmonise separate waste collection systems, taking into account regional and local conditions”, and stands ready to provide valuable know-how to improve every country’s separate collection capacity.
However, ECN regrets to acknowledge that the general approach to secondary raw materials is always marked by uncertainties and concerns with regards to their safety and quality. Certified compost is a high-quality, safe-to-use recycled material, that faces challenges to compete with non-renewable mineral fertilising products due to price concerns and a lack of functioning markets, rather than to safety or quality issues.
The full press release of ECN can be downloaded here.
European Compost Network (ECN)
Feedback on the Roadmap on Farm to Fork Strategy
On 17 February 2020 the European Commission has opened the public consultation on the Roadmap on the Farm to Fork Strategy. The European Compost Network welcomes the European Commission intention to develop a strategic framework with the Farm to Fork strategy to accelerate the transition towards a sustainable food system.
ECN warmly recommends the Commission to promote measures that enhance soil health and soil fertility as the cornerstone of the transition towards a sustainable food system. Therefore, ECN suggests the Commission to include in the strategy measures that
- Incentivize uptake of quality proved and certified compost in organic soil improvers and growing media; and
Such measures could include a target on minimum soil organic matter content in agricultural land, and on the use of recycled nutrients.
- Make regular application of organic soil improvers on the agricultural land more likely, e.g. by rewarding such practices.
As a matter of fact, soil health, quality and fertility are crucial factors for sustainable food production as well as for carbon sequestration in soil through CO2 binding in soils.
Compost is the end-product of the composting process of bio-waste and is a valuable soil improver as it contains stable organic carbon that can help (maintain and/or) increase the content of soil organic matter. It also contains a diverse range of micro-organisms that form an essential part of a healthy soil ecosystem. Between 118 and 138 million tonnes of nutrients-rich bio-waste is generated across the EU every year, but less than 40% are currently recycled.
This is a huge potential for recovering and reusing sustainable nutrients and organic matter.
The full feedback of ECN can be accessed here.
Further information on the Farm to Fork Strategy is available on the Commission’s website.
From ECN Members
First certificates for composting and AD plants in Finland
The Finnish Biocycle and Biogas Association has awarded the first certificates under the Finnish Quality Assurance Scheme for recycled nutrient products.
The certificates were awarded to the following six compost products produced by Helsingin seudun ympäristöpalvelut -kuntayhtymä HSY (eng. Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority HSY).
The name of the products are:
- Metsäpirtin Biojätekomposti
- Metsäpirtin Maanparannuskomposti
- Metsäpirtin Puutarhakomposti
- Metsäpirtin Tuorekomposti
- Metsäpirtin Viherjätekomposti
- Metsäpirtin Jätevesilietekomposti
The Finnish QAS was established at the beginning of March 2020 after two years joint development project with stakeholders. The name of the QAS is Laatulannoite and the scheme is open for all the companies producing the recycled nutrient products.
More information about the Finnish Quality Assurance Scheme at https://www.laatulannoite.fi/in-english/.
17-18 June 2020, Tallinn (EE)
EIP-AGRI workshop ‘Towards carbon neutral agriculture’
Call for expression of interest - open until 30 March 2020
On 17-18 June 2020, the European Commission and the EIP-AGRI Service Point are organising the workshop ‘Towards carbon neutral agriculture’ in Estonia.
The European Commission and the EIP AGRI Service Point are looking for farmers and other participants with experience in designing and/or implementing farming systems or practices contributing to reducing the carbon footprint of the European agricultural sector.The topic of the workshop is highly relevant to the main political priorities of the Commission and in particular the European Green Deal initiative aiming at climate neutrality by 2050.
Further information and the application can be accessed here.
2-5 June 2020, Brussels (BE)
EU Green Week 2020 – Earth - The final season?
The opening session will convey the urgency, opportunity and momentum to protect and restore biodiversity on Earth, and how this will help to deliver on the climate and sustainable development goals. It will draw on the European Green Deal, the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and the EU Climate Law (due in the first 100 days of the new Commission) as well as major milestones ahead: ongoing work to develop the global biodiversity framework to be adopted later in 2020, and an EU biodiversity action plan in 2021. It will provide an uplifting agenda but also sober and critical perspectives on the tasks ahead, the likely difficulties, and setting the tone for the following panel discussions. It will also inspire the audience through personal stories on why saving nature & biodiversity matters. Specific sessions on green infrastructure, agriculture and soil are scheduled on 3 & 4 June.
Please find the draft programme here.
7-11 September 2020, Munich (DE)
The World's Leading Trade Fair for Water, Sewage, Waste and Raw Materials Management is postponed to September 7-11, 2020.
Further information: http://www.ifat.de/en/visitors/information/plan-your-stay/
14-17 September 2020, Cambridge (UK)
RAMIRAN - Call for abstracts deadline extended until 31 March 2020
The RAMIRAN 2020 under the title ‘Managing Organic Resources in a Changing Environment’ is scheduled from 14 to 17 September 2020 in Cambridge (UK). The call for abstracts and registration is still open. Abstracts can be submitted until 31 March 2020.
Further information and details on registration and abstract submission can be found on the conference website https://www.ramiran2020.org/.
01-03 October 2020, Athens (GR)
RETASTE: Rethink Food Waste Conference
The RETASTE: RETHINK FOODWASTE Conference at Harokopio University, Athens, is postponed to October 1-3, 2020.
Further information on the conference can be accessed here.
Best wishes from ECN!
We would like to express our sympathies with everyone affected by the COVID-19. We will try to keep you informed and we hope that we all together manage the situation in the best way.
Keep healthy and take care!
The ECN Team