Manufactured nanomaterials are applied in rapidly growing amounts of every-day products. Their physical and chemical properties make them an attractive choice in product development, bringing the possibility of both functional and economic advantages. Yet, there are concerns about their adverse effects on human health and the environment. One significant concern is the fate of nanomaterials in waste streams.In today’s Declaration on Waste Containing Nanomaterials, endorsed by some 95 civil society organisations and research institutes, among which MIO-ECSDE, the importance of adopting and implementing preventive measures to protect people and the environment from possible hazards of manufactured nanomaterials in waste streams is emphasized.

The Declaration calls for governments, research and innovation funding institutions, and companies to:

  • Implement full producer responsibility to ensure safe management of waste containing manufactured nanomaterials;
  • Restrict transboundary movements of waste containing certain manufactured nanomaterials;
  • Enable transparent quantification and characterization of waste flows containing manufactured nanomaterials through a European Union (EU)-wide public nano-product registry;
  • Stimulate innovation on waste prevention;
  • Foster the development of safe and effective recycling and disposal technologies for products containing manufactured nanomaterials;
  • Develop and establish verifiable end-of-waste criteria for recyclable materials containing manufactured nanomaterials; and
  • Innovators should explore how advanced properties of manufactured nanomaterials can be employed in support of the circular economy without introducing new environmental risks or aggravating existing ones.