Emission factors for micro- and nano-plastics in Europe

This project aims to develop a model to predict environmental emission factors for the entire life cycle of macro-, micro- and nanoplastics, across professional, consumer and industrial sectors.

Organized by Cefic

Researchers / Institutional Affiliations

  • Dr. Sam Harrison
    Lancaster Environment Centre
  • Dr. Mark Wiesner
    Duke University
  • Dr. Bernd Nowack
    Empa-Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology


January 2023 to December 2024

Additional Information

The EMIFACT MNP project is developing a model that predicts environmental emission factors for the full size range of plastics emissions, covering the full lifecycle of broad range of widely used polymers. The model will provide:

  • Environmental emission factors for Europe, taking account of regional differences in lifecycle processes such waste management to predict spatially distributed emissions factors
  • Size-distributed emission factors over relevant time periods, based on predictions of fragmentation during the entire polymer lifecycle, and building on the ongoing Cefic-LRI ECO59 FRAGMENT-MNP project
  • An analysis of the lifecycle of polymers based on complete material-flow analysis of technological applications
  • Probabilistic emission factors based on use of probabilistic material flow analysis (PMFA) pioneered by project partners

The end-product will be a framework for generating emission factors, applied to a broad range of polymer types, which will be ready for use in environmental exposure models. The project will use previous work develop by Bernd Nowack’s team for Switzerland, here.

Further details are available here.

Professional Presentations


Published Papers