Switzerland - Promote Phosphorous Recovery and Reuse from Wastewater

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Switzerland commits to promote phosphorous recovery and reuse from wastewater. Guided by environmental and development policy considerations during the revision of the Technical Ordinance on Waste, the Swiss Federal Council introduced environmental standards to promote phosphorous recovery and reuse. As a result, Switzerland is the world’s first country with compulsory phosphorus recovery and reuse from sewage sludge and separated organic fractions. The new regulation entered into force in 2016 with a transition period of 10 years for related technological development and adaptation of the existing infrastructure. The commitment will ensure long term food production, increase of the lifespan of phosphorous, and minimise the environmental impacts from phosphorous extraction and processing.

The commitment falls under focus areas 1, 3, and 5 of the Batumi Initiative to improve the measurement and valuation of natural capital; enhance ecosystems and ecosystem services as part of ecological infrastructure; and develop clean physical capital for sustainable production patterns.

Implementing partners will include Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture; Swiss Waste Treatment Plant Operators Association, Cemsuisse (Association of the Swiss Cement Industry), Swiss Water Association, and private industry partners.

This commitment is relevant to SDG targets 12.2, 12.4 and 12.5.

Agriculture, Waste