Mapping ENM from consumer products in solid waste flows in Denmark

L. Heggelund, A. Boldrin, S.F. Hansen, T.F. Astrup
Technical University of Denmark (DTU), DK

Keywords: ENM, consumer products, solid waste

Summary:

To address the challenges regarding management of waste from ENM-enabled consumer products, we mapped the flow of these products available online in Denmark and the EU. To do this, we used the Nanodatabase (www.nanodb.dk). A representative sample of products from the database was analyzed, and placed into suitable waste material fractions. Subsequently, the distribution of ENM in the individual waste fractions, by number of products, was found. Overall, the results showed that nanosilver was present in seven of the eight identified waste material fractions, whereas other ENMs (e.g. CNTs and silicon) were only present in one or two fractions. Furthermore, the waste material fraction "dirty plastic" was the most diversified, containing five different ENMs. To our knowledge this type of analysis has not previously been performed, and the results hold promise for gaining a better understanding of managing nanowaste.