Introducing peecycling: how human urine could be the sustainable answer to healthier crops

By Sam Wareing

Published Jun 20, 2022 at 12:14 PM

Reading time: 1 minute

According to researchers, using human urine—also known as ‘peecycling’—could be the answer to the world’s chemical fertiliser woes.

The OCAPI research programme in France has been looking into the use of pee as a fertiliser, and Fabien Esculier, a researcher on the project, told Euronews that given how human urine is very nutrient-rich (containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium), it is a great alternative to chemical fertilisers. Esculier went on to state that it is also a lot less polluting than its chemical counterparts, as they contain ammonia.

This is groundbreaking, considering the shortage in fertilisers that has occurred due to the ongoing war in Ukraine. Analysts at Rabobank have said that Russia exports 20 per cent of the world’s nitrogen fertilisers, while Belarus is responsible for 40 per cent of the world’s potassium. Combined with the sanctions placed on Russia, farmers around the world have had their supply cut off.

Luckily, a non-profit organisation based in Vermont, called the Rich Earth Institute, has been investigating and developing alternative waste management solutions for decades—and already has its own dedicated peecycling initiative. The institute has established a research division that primarily studies how urine can be used to grow and fertilise plants, and even rents out urine collecting portable toilets for public events.

As a sustainable form of fertilisation, the organisation has been doing its own research into the effects of pharmaceuticals in human urine, and whether it negatively affects plant growth. In a study conducted between 2014 and 2022, researchers used different levels of medicine in pee and applied it to crops. They discovered that even though there were some traces of pharmaceuticals in the yield, the levels found were pretty negligible.

Abraham Noe-Hays, a co-founder of the institute, said in a video produced by the University of Michigan on peecycling that using urine instead of chemical fertilisers is far better as it is sustainably produced. “There’s no doubt that urine can be a safe fertiliser for growing any kind of crop,” he explained. So, are you ready to peecycle with a climate crisis looming over our head?

Keep On Reading

By Charlie Sawyer

Michael J. Fox speech at the BAFTA Awards 2024 leaves viewers in tears

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Dakota Johnson fails to name a single Tom Holland Spider-Man movie during Madame Web promo

By Charlie Sawyer

Top Captain Holt moments from Brooklyn Nine-Nine that will make us miss Andre Braugher

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

The Last of Us star Bella Ramsey reveals they want their next role to be the Joker

By Charlie Sawyer

What is Christian nationalism? The alt-right inspired movement dominating US politics

By Charlie Sawyer

Tucker Carlson pranked by YouTuber pretending to be Kate Middleton whistleblower 

By Charlie Sawyer

New Armie Hammer ex-girlfriend reveals actor has only gotten worse since cannibalism claims

By Emma O'Regan-Reidy

What is demi method makeup, and what’s its connection to an alleged MLM scam?

By Charlie Sawyer

Millie Bobby Brown labelled as rude and disrespectful after recent interview confession

By Abby Amoakuh

Drake responds to his nudes being leaked just hours ago

By Charlie Sawyer

With Amy Schumer on the verge of being cancelled, here are 4 of her most problematic moments

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Student dies a painful death after inhaling two to three bottles of laughing gas every day

By Abby Amoakuh

New Alabama bill to add rape exception to abortion ban and punish rapists with castration

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Latest femicide in Italy sparks protests following reports of 102 women killed in 2023

By Charlie Sawyer

How to sell feet pics: Breaking down the side hustle helping Gen Zers pay their rent

By Lois Freeman

The ugly path to freedom: How I finally ended my teenage eating disorder

By Abby Amoakuh

Is Donald Trump going to jail? A full breakdown of his impending legal doom

By Charlie Sawyer

Women in Gaza are using parts of tents as period products

By Alma Fabiani

Teacher tragically found dead at scene of nativity play at UK private school

By Abby Amoakuh

Julia Fox and Madonna become bodybuilders in new Sevdaliza and Grimes music video