Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, the three “Rs” in sustainability, are also at the heart of the Circular Economy. It’s no secret that reuse is a practice that has been around for many years. Our ancestors already practiced it in agriculture. Reuse of organic matter, such as animal manure, was a practice used even longer ago. Organic matter is an essential component of fertile soils, affecting their physical, chemical and biological characteristics, and being an essential requirement for a healthy environment. Soils on its way to infertility. Without organic matter, there would be no soil. This basic principle for recycling and reuse is one of the paradigms of modern-day agriculture, which must meet two requirements which are not necessarily at odds with each other: Balancing the need to feed an increasingly larger number of people with quality food and at low cost. Doing this in an environmentally friendly way.
In recent years, soil fertility has been decreasing, due to a decline in the reuse of organic matter, and there are as yet no known policies or measures in place to revert this trend. If we consider that, according the to FAO, soils should have a minimum content of 2% organic matter, we find that around 50% of all soils (in Portugal at least) would not even be able to be considered as such. Added to this, our soils are at a high or very high risk of desertification.
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