In this study, we have reported a novel wastewater treatment technique by phenol imprinted bacterial cellulose (BC-MIP) nanofibres with high specificity and adsorption capacity. N-methacryloyl-(L) phenylalanine methyl ester (MAPA) functional monomer was used to create specific binding sites for the template molecule phenol via electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions. BC-MIP nanofibres were synthesized by surface imprinting approach in the presence of different amounts of total monomer (% weight), monomer/template ratio and polymerization time. Then, the nanofibres were characterized by FTIR-ATR, surface area analysis (BET), elemental analysis, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and contact angle measurements. Adsorption studies were performed with respect to pH, temperature and ionic strength, and the adsorption capacity was calculated by using the spectrophotometer. In order to desorb the adsorbed phenol from BC-MIP nanofibres, 0.1 M NaCl solution was used. Besides, BC-MIP nanofibres were applied to real wastewater samples from Ergene basin in Turkey. The suitable equilibrium isotherm was determined as Langmuir isotherm. To evaluate the selectivity of the BC-MIP nanofibres, similar molecules were utilized as competitor molecules, which were 2-chlorophenol, 4-chlorophenol and 2,4-dichlorophenol. Electrostatic interactions were found to contribute to the generation of specific recognition binding sites. The results have shown that imprinting of phenol was achieved successfully with high adsorption capacity. The phenol removal efficiency was reported up to 97%. BC-MIP nanofibres were used 10 times with a negligible decrease in adsorption capacity.