Sail Amsterdam to harvest 100,000 litres of urine from males, in agriculture initiative. Summer festivals: for most of us they spell rain, mud, dodgy takeaways, grungy portable toilets and worse. But the organisers of this year’s Sail Amsterdam are determined we’ll never see them in such a negative light again – once we realise how much urine they generate.
Generating urine is a good thing, say environmentalists, because it contains phosphates – particularly one called struvite or magnesium ammonium phosphate – which helps crops to grow more quickly in a world in which food security is an international priority.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that where phosphates are not generated naturally, they’re usually produced by mining, particularly in Africa and the Middle East – amid warnings that the world’s dwindling supply may not last much more than another 300 years.