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ÅF R&D on microplastics presented at international conferences

On behalf of the Nordic Council of Ministers, ÅF has previously carried out a research and development project on the suspected sources of microplastics and their potential impact on the environment in terms of solid waste landfills. The work resulted in a report that has now been further developed and presented at the international conferences Sardinia Symposium and ICEENN 2019.

Foto: Emma Brandmyr

This spring, ÅF published a report on the sources of microplastics, which was produced on behalf of the Nordic Council of Ministers. The results indicate that landfills are a potential source of microplastics, but far from the largest to watercourses, and that there are major challenges when it comes to analysing the smallest and the black particles.

Together with Bettina Liebmann at the Umweltsbundesamt in Vienna (the Austrian equivalent of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency), ÅF's Martijn van Praagh, Head of Research and Development in the environmental field, developed the results of the project and formulated them as contributions to two international conferences. One of them is the 14th International Conference on Environmental Effects of Nanoparticles and Nanomaterials (ICEENN) in Vienna, which took place in September, and the other is the 17th Sardinia International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium, one of the world's largest waste conferences, which took place in early October.

Their research has been selected for publication at both conferences, at ICEENN a poster was presented by Bettina Liebmann, and at the Sardinia Symposium an article was published in connection with Martijn van Praagh presenting the project. At the Sardinia Symposium, Martijn van Praagh also moderated a conversation about waste characterisation.

“This project is based on collaboration between a number of players and it is great having the opportunity to present our results and discuss them with prominent researchers and experts from many different countries,” says Martijn van Praagh.

The research is based on a collaboration between ÅF, the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Umweltsbundesamt in Vienna, Resource International in Iceland, participating landfills in Finland, Norway and Iceland and the Center for Environmental and Climate Research at Lund University.

Click here to read the report.