an official journal of: published by:
an official journal of: published by:
Editor in Chief: RAFFAELLO COSSU


  • Emily Appleby - University of Southampton, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Peter J. Shaw - University of Southampton, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Released under CC BY-NC-ND

Copyright: © 2021 CISA Publisher


As global consumption of nail varnish grows, quantities of packaging waste and residues will increase. End-of-use decisions for nail varnish have implications. Residues contain some hazardous substances, whilst packaging has potential for valorization. The extent of problems related to the disposal of end-of-use nail varnish products remains unclear. This study aimed to gain evidence to inform potential management measures. An inventory of hazardous substances in nail varnish products available in the UK was compiled to ascertain their potential for harm to the environment and/or human health. Discarded samples of end-of-use nail varnish products were then collected from volunteers in the UK to determine weights of packaging materials and residues. A parallel survey explored UK consumers’ means of disposal and opportunities for positive change. All the brands examined contained at least one hazardous substance; over a hundred hazardous substances were identified in total for the 24 samples audited. Hazards to human health were most common. On average, 7.2g of nail varnish remained in bottles at the point of disposal. Average weights for glass bottles and plastic lids/applicators were 28.5g and 5.6g, respectively. End-of-use products thus generate small quantities of residues and packaging, but the cumulative impacts are potentially substantial. Disposal of end-of-use products with general household waste was evident: this leads to contamination of non-hazardous waste and fails to valorize the materials lost. Collection schemes for end-of-use nail varnish offer a possible way forward, but would benefit from fuller understanding of the potential for consumer engagement.


Editorial History

  • Received: 16 Dec 2021
  • Revised: 05 May 2022
  • Accepted: 06 Jun 2022
  • Available online: 30 Jun 2022


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