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Achieving Sustainable Phosphorus Use in Food Systems through Circularisation

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dc.contributor.author Withers, Paul J. A.
dc.contributor.author Doody, Donnacha
dc.contributor.author Sylvester-Bradley, Roger
dc.date.accessioned 2021-06-11T11:00:17Z
dc.date.available 2021-06-11T11:00:17Z
dc.date.issued 2018-05-30
dc.identifier http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12518/271
dc.identifier.citation Withers, P., Doody, D. and Sylvester-Bradley, R. (2018) ‘Achieving Sustainable Phosphorus Use in Food Systems through Circularisation’, Sustainability, 10(6), p. 1804. doi: 10.3390/su10061804. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 2071-1050
dc.identifier.uri https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061804
dc.description Publication history: Accepted - 28 May 2018; Published - 30 May 2018. en_US
dc.description.abstract The notion of a phosphorus (P) circular economy provides the philosophy, framework, and opportunity to enable food production systems to become more efficient, sustainable, and resilient to a future P scarcity or sudden price shock. Whilst P recovery and recycling are central strategies for closing the P cycle, additional gains in environmental performance of food systems can be obtained by further minimising the amounts of P (a) introduced into the food system by lowering system P demand and (b) lost from the system by utilising legacy P stores in the landscape. This minimisation is an important cascading component of circularisation because it reduces the amounts of P circulating in the system, the amounts of P required to be recycled/recovered and the storage of unused P in the landscape, whilst maintaining agricultural output. The potential for circularisation and minimisation depends on regional differences in these P flow dynamics. We consider incremental and transformative management interventions towards P minimisation within circular economies, and how these might be tempered by the need to deliver a range of ecosystem services. These interventions move away from current production philosophies based on risk-averse, insurance-based farming, and current consumption patterns which have little regard for their environmental impact. We argue that a greater focus on P minimisation and circularisation should catalyse different actors and sectors in the food chain to embrace P sustainability and should empower future research needs to provide the confidence for them to do so without sacrificing future regional food security. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship This paper was produced as part of the RePhoKUs project (The role of phosphorus in the sustainability and resilience of the UK food system) funded by BBSRC, ESRC, NERC, and the Scottish Government under the UK Global Food Security research programme (Grant No. BB/R005842/1). en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher MDPI en_US
dc.rights © 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). en_US
dc.subject phosphorus en_US
dc.subject food system en_US
dc.subject circular economy en_US
dc.subject circularisation en_US
dc.subject minimisation en_US
dc.subject efficiency en_US
dc.subject resilience en_US
dc.subject sustainability en_US
dc.title Achieving Sustainable Phosphorus Use in Food Systems through Circularisation en_US
dc.type Article en_US


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