ECN e.V.

Network for Organic Resources and Biological Treatment
ECN E-BULLETIN No. 06_2021
19 May 2021
EU Commission I Zero Pollution Action Plan

The long way to zero-waste and sustainable biosolids

In the next 5 years, the European Union could adopt a mandatory binding target to reduce by 50% residual municipal waste and new rules for the sustainable use of biosolids in agriculture.

On 12th May 2021, the European Commission adopted the communication on the Action Plan for Zero Pollution of Air, Soil and Water. Among other measures, it clarified that the revision of the Sewage Sludge Directive and the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive will aim to make biosolids ready to reuse in agriculture.
The European Commission plans to reinforce the waste hierarchy, which mandates the prioritization of waste prevention, by proposing waste reduction targets and other waste prevention measures in the context of the review of the Waste Framework Directive planned for 2023.
The upcoming Thematic Strategy on Soil will add new details to the soil decontamination ambition described in the Action Plan. Member States will soon discuss and probably adopt new obligations to identify and remediate soil contamination. The European Parliament has still adopted a resolution on soil protection on 28th April 2021.
The Action Plan highlights again the importance of the target to reduce nutrient losses by 20 % which was proposed in the Farm to Fork and the Biodiversity strategy. The target is not legally binding for the Member States, which nevertheless are required to design interventions of the Common Agricultural policy to achieve it. The European Commission clarified in the action plan that nutrient recycling will be a crucial solution in the next 10 years and that the market for recovered nutrients should be stimulated.
EU Taxonomy Regulation

Bio-waste recycling substantially contributes to climate change mitigation, says the European Commission

All investments in separate collection, anaerobic digestion and composting will help the economy to prevent greenhouse gas emissions and reduce its climate footprint.

To ensure that recycling operations meet the highest standards, operators of anaerobic digestions plants will need to design specific monitoring and contingency plans to minimise methane leakage at the facilities. Additionally, composting operators that treat above 75 tonnes per day and AD operators that treat above 100 tonnes per day must ensure that bio-waste recycling meet the emission levels to air and water of the best available techniques (BAT).

Links to the communication on the sustainable finance package and the EU Taxonomy Climate Delegated Act.
Online Available!

A Compost Journey Across Europe!

Particpants from all over the world joined our online session by visiting our members across Europe on 5 May 2021.
If you missed to take part or if you want to travel virtually through the composting world in Europe again, you can join the trip at any time here:

All video sessions can be accessed on our website by clicking on the ICAW buttons on the map:
EJP Soil

New open call on soil projects

The European Joint Programme “EJP SOIL - Towards climate-smart sustainable management of agricultural soils” comprise 24 countries committed to the overall goal of providing sustainable agricultural soil management solutions that contribute to key societal challenges including climate change and future food supply. The first external call is now open until 7 September 2021.
The objective of this call is to foster holistic agricultural (forestry soils are not excluded) soil management practices which will assist in making a shift to diversify farming to include a variety of sustainable and environmental practices.
Three topics are addressed: SOC sequestration; soil biodiversity; Improve sustainability, resilience, health and productivity of soils.
First External Call Announcement 2
EIP-AGRI Seminar 'Healthy soils for Europe'

Final report, presentations and recordings published

EIP_AGRI Healthy Soils
The EIP-AGRI Seminar 'Healthy soils for Europe: sustainable management through knowledge and practice' was held on 13-14 April 2021.
This interactive event aimed to exchange practical solutions to soil health problems and to discuss what needs to be done, especially for farmers, to take them up. The speakers from this event took up the challenge to answer the unanswered questions from the chat. You can now download the Q&A document here.
The final report gives an overview of all seminar discussions and results and can be downloaded here
Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity

Keep soil alive, protect soil biodiversity

The overall aim of the Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity (GSOBI21) was to review the role of soil biodiversity and ecosystem services in tackling environmental problems, and to drive actions towards the implementation of the World Soil Charter along with the Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management.
Specifically, the symposium outcomes will provide evidence to support actions to protect soil biodiversity and promote its sustainable use and management by addressing the underlying causes of soil biodiversity loss and enhancing implementation of sustainable practices.
You can access all presentations and recordings of the Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity here.
The Magical World of Soil Biodiversity
In the framework of World Soil Day 2020, FAO, the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS), and the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) launched a children's book contest on Soil Biodiversity with the motto "Keep soil alive, protect soil biodiversity". The soil biodiversity book highlights the importance of soil organisms and raises awareness of the urgent need to protect soil biodiversity among a young audience (children aged 6-11 years). This collection of 10 stories includes the best entries received from a total of 80 books spanning over 60 countries.
The magic soil world
The following complementary information is available:
Read online the State of Knowledge of Soil Biodiversity: interactive story
Download the State of Knowledge of Soil Biodiversity: full report
Download the The State of Knowledge of Soil Biodiversity: Summary for policy makers


Welcome of our New Members!
We are happy to welcome two new members in the European Compost Network.

Ecompost, Greece
Ecompost was established end of 2019 at Corinth. Ecompost gives the opportunity to livestock companies to collect their waste and to transfrom these organic materials through composting into excellent organic fertilisers and soil improvers. Ecompost works in cooperation with the Agricultural University of Athens and gives students the opportunity to practise their internships as well as to facilitate their experiments in the field.
Further information about Ecompost can be accessed here.

TIPA, Israel
TIPA was founded in 2010 by Daphna Nissenbaum and Tal Neuman to address the challenge that flexible plastic packaging poses to the world. At TIPA, we think that our packaging should be inspired by nature’s packaging: a protective layer that decomposes back into the soil with no toxic residue, microplastics, or other pollutants.
TIPA’s vision for flexible packaging is to have the same end-of-life as organic matter while
maintaining the qualities of conventional plastics that consumers and brands have to
rely on, like durability, transparency, barrier, sealability, printability, and shelf-life.
Further Information about TIPA can be accessed here.
GrowingMedia2021 I Early bird registration - 31 May 2021

Programm available & registration is now open!

GrowingMedia2021 presents 5 keynote speakers, 45 oral and 26 poster presentations, all related to the following research areas:
  • Growing media and sustainable use of resources
  • The microbiome of growing media and integrated disease and pest control
  • Soilless cultivation: added value of innovations for water and nutrient use efficiency
  • Biochar and compost in horticulture and carbon storage potential
Download preliminary oral programme: here
Download preliminary poster programme: here

Registration Growing Media 2021 – ECN member fee reduction!
For ECN members, ISHS or IPS members a reduced registration fee is offered. Early-bird registrations for the online participation in the hybrid conference are open until 31 May 2021. Please register now here!
ECN & GME policy-related session I 26 August 2021

Key speakers from EU Commission and Industry confirmed!

The European Compost Network (ECN) and Growing Media Europe (GME) aim to organize a session entitled ‘EU Fertilising Products Regulation – Opportunities and Challenges to place Growing Media and Soil Improvers on the European Market’ during the conference ‘GrowingMedia2021 – International Symposium on Growing Media, Soilless Cultivation, and Compost Utilization in Horticulture’.
The workshop will focus on the regulatory framework for the use of compost and digestate as ‘component materials’ for soil improvers and growing media in the framework of the EU fertilising product regulation and how these final products can be placed on the EU market.
We are happy to announce the key speaker and the programme of the session below:

EU Fertilising Products Regulation - Requirements for Growing Media and Soil Improvers based on Compost and Digestate
Jérémy Pinte, DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Unit GROW.F.2 – Bioeconomy, Chemicals and Cosmetics, Policy Officer
Opportunities and challenges for the manufacturers of growing media
Dr. Nele Ameloot, Growing Media Europe, Technical expert
Opportunities and challenges for the manufacturers of soil improver
Dr. Irmgard Leifert, ECN and RETERRA Service GmbH, Technical expert
Conformity assessment procedures for waste derived organic materials under the new EU Fertilising Products Regulation
Wim Vanden Auweele, ECN and Vlaco vzw, Technical expert

The policy session will close with a panel debate on the question 'Does the new EU Fertilising Products Regulation really contribute to the EU Circular Economy?'.
New Date: 23/09/2021 Austria

Austrian Compost & Biogas Association

7th International Practitioners Day for Composting

The 7th International Practitioners Day for Composting will take place on 23rd September 2021 in Langenlois/NÖ (AT) organised by the Austrian Compost & Biogas Associaton.
Further information:
Save the Date: 22/09/2021 Vienna (AT)

ECN Annual meeting 2021

At the last Board meeting (03/03/2021) the ECN Board decided to schedule the ECN Annual Meeting 2021 in conjunction with the 7th International Practitioners Day for Composting. Depending on the Covid situation, we are planning to organise the ECN Annual meeting 2021 on 22nd September 2021 in Vienna as a face-to-face meeting. Please save the date!
04-07 October 2021, Greece

ISWA World Congress 2021

The ISWA World Hybrid Congress 2021 will be taking place on October 4-7 as digital and ohysical conference in Athens.The ISWA World Congress 2021 will be the event’s 31st edition, and it is expected to attract delegates from across the globe.

The congress will be based on a scientific programme which will be focusing on “From waste management to circular economy – The road ahead”. Circular economy is a central pillar of new policies interconnected also with climate change mitigation policies. New waves of legislation and regulations are expected to stimulate serious changes within the coming years regarding the transition from linear economy and waste management to a circular economy at a global level promoting zero waste production and resource efficiency as well as climate change mitigation.
The congress will focus on this transition and the changes required, overcoming obstacles, on our daily practices, infrastructure in recycling and recovery, regulatory aspects, funding mechanisms, society acceptance, as well as to the design of our cities.
The Congress delegates will include waste professionals, industrialists, policy makers at all levels from around the globe, top executives and decision makers, researchers and entrepreneurs, and government personnel specialising in the field of solid waste management.
Further Information here.
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organisations, compost and digestate products

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