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European festival recycles urine to make beer: Weird business news

Nicole Goodkind
·Nicole Goodkind

This week in weird business news…

Organizers at Northern Europe’s largest music festival, Roskilde and the Danish Agriculture & Food Council partnered last weekend to collect 25,000 liters of urine from more than 100,000 festivalgoers. In a program they’re calling “From piss to pilsner.”

The collected goods will be sent to local farmers to fertilize barley crops used to grow beer. The program will be used to create 425 kegs of beer that will be sold at the festival in 2017.

“The huge amount of urine produced at festivals was having a negative impact on the environment and the sewage system,” Leif Nielsen from the Danish Agriculture & Food Council (DAFC) told The Guardian. “But beercycling will turn the urine into a resource.” Special urinals were placed near the stages where Sir Paul McCartney, Florence and the Machine and Pharell performed. “We’re hoping to collect some rock star pee as well,” Marie Grabow Westergaard from the DAFC told the Guardian.

According to the Rich Earth Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont and environmental scientists at the University of Kuopio in Finland, human urine has been shown to be an effective agricultural fertilizer. Urine contains nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus which are all ingredients that help plants thrive. And according to scientists, urine is actually quite sanitary when it leaves the body.

Roskilde Festival is known for its green initiatives. The festival has also featured car-sharing programs, organic beers and recycled cups.

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