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Zero Waste Europe sign international declaration on 'waste containing nanomaterials'

Zero Waste Europe signed the International Declaration on "Wastes Containing Nanomaterials"

Zero Waste Europe has joined with more than 80 international signatories to call for the classification of waste containing nanomaterials as “hazardous waste”. Read the press release and full statement here.

Statement: Preventive measures essential for wastes containing nanomaterials

(Geneva)-In today’s declaration on wastes containing nanomaterials, the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), ECOS and Oeko-Institut emphasized the adoption and implementation of preventive measures to protect humans and the environment from possible man-made nanomaterials The importance of hazards (MNMs) is in the waste stream. Since the toxicity of nanomaterials is still largely unknown, strict control of waste containing MNM is essential.

More than 80 signatories from civil society groups and research organizations around the world have signed the declaration, which shows that the requirement to classify wastes containing man-made nanomaterials as hazardous wastes has been overwhelmingly supported. This is necessary to better control the disposal route of this type of waste to limit the exposure of humans and the environment to MNM. In addition, the declaration calls for reducing waste at the source, taking full responsibility for producers, and establishing a public EU nanoproduct register.

“From creation to use to disposal, there are too many unknown factors to flood the market with unregulated nanomaterials. David Azoulay, director of the CIEL Environmental Health Project, said that the precautionary principle must be applied immediately to prevent nanomaterials from coming into contact with toxic substances. Include in the waste stream. "The risk is too great to be ignored. "

Oeko-Institut senior scientist Andreas Hermann emphasized: “EU-level nano product registration is necessary for industry and authorities to determine the source and destination of product waste streams containing MNM.”

A report issued by the OECD in February 2016, Nanomaterials in Waste Streams: Current Knowledge of Risks and Impacts, supported the declaration and called for limiting the potential presence of nanotechnology in waste streams.

The declaration coincides with the ongoing standardization activities of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) on the life cycle of nanomaterials and waste. It is also particularly relevant in the context of circular economy discussions within the EU and other equivalent processes worldwide (such as China's 3R and Japan's Sound Materials Association).

The "Waste Declaration on Nanomaterials" targets all relevant participants in the entire nanomaterial value chain: governments, research institutions, funding agencies and companies.

Doreen Fedrigo-Fazio, Senior Policy Officer of ECOS, emphasized: “Waste producers must consider the nano content in the waste. Due to the lack of a waste policy to deal with nano materials, the long delay in revising the REACH Annex has exacerbated the challenge, thereby increasing the challenge.”

The declaration is one of the results of a three-year collaboration between ECOS, CIEL and Oeko-Institut, which aims to expand the understanding of nanomaterials and bridge the gap between policy and science. It was reinforced by a seminar held in Brussels in December 2015, which looked at the life cycle aspects of nanomaterials.

The declaration is now open to the public for signature by other organizations. At that time, an updated list of support for the declaration will be released in the next few months.

Read the full statement here

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