German coalition urged to drop sewage sludge plan

A plan to stop sewage sludge being spread on farmland would remove a valuable source of phosphorus, says waste association BVSE

A plan by German coalition parties to stop sewage sludge being spread on farmland would remove a valuable source of phosphorus, says waste association BVSE.

The proposal was included in a deal struck by the CDU and SPD last week and is meant to protect water bodies from pollution and nutrient overloading. The coalition also promises to recover phosphorus and other nutrients from sludge.

However, BVSE says nutrients are just as likely to be leached from chemical fertilisers. Germany has strict quality standards to ensure only safe sludges are used on fields and there is no evidence of any health effects.

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