Many of us are looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint, not just at home, but at work. For a those of us in the research industry, this may feel like a daunting task. The need to keep contamination out while delivering results quickly has led to reliance on disposable products. While some can be recycled, many can not. The environmental costs of recycling can often offset the well-intended act of recycling. Shipping used products and packaging back to suppliers to have them recycled uses a tremendous amount of fossil fuels and energy, especially if you need to pre-wash or sterilize first.
Here are three easy steps you can take right now that could reduce your lab’s plastic consumption by 800 pounds per year!
1) Up-cycle your pipetting supplies
Look for suppliers who get innovative with packaging. For example, Biotix offers tip racks that can be re-purposed. The base of the CleanPak™ Reload System, can also be used as a single well reagent reservoir. This base is also found in the single use manual pipette tip racks. You can use the lid to eject used pipette tips into. Request a free sample to try in your lab today!
2) Choose pipette tips with less plastic
You may think that all pipette tips use roughly the same amount of plastic. Think of how many you use over time. Biotix tips use 1/3 the plastic of other leading tips†. While small in size, they add up quickly.
Not all racks are created equal. Many people associate a heavy rack with quality, however these two ideas don’t need to be related. Stability is built into racks designed with an SBS footprint, but this does not always correlate with the weight of the rack. Your pipette tip rack should be user friendly, stable and have a SBS footprint, not a massive carbon one!
Let’s look at a lab that uses 100 cases of tips per year. If they were to switch to rack and tips made with a third less plastic, that one lab would save roughly 800 pounds of plastic per year!†† If every lab were to make the same change, imagine the global impact!
3) Use tip reloads instead of single-use racks where appropriate
There is always the old-school reload system where the newest lab member gets to hand-load bulk pipette tips. But for today’s laboratory needs, Biotix offers a variety of packaging solutions including two reload systems with both sustainability and contamination-prevention in mind. Some suppliers will use cardboard in their reload systems as an eco-solution, however, these reload systems often cannot be considered more sustainable due to cardboard contamination concerns. Look for clean reload solutions with thin plastic recyclable packing. You’ll also find some zen with more lab bench space! With the Biotix CleanPak reload, 960 tips are stored in the same space as one rack.
†Comparison made between the average weight racked tips from of a top pipette tip provider compared to the average weight of racked tips from Biotix. ††Weight comparisons are based on a lab using 100 cases of racked tips per year. Tip weight comparison made between the average weight of racked tips from of a highly recognized pipette tip provider compared to the average weight of racked tips from Biotix. Laboratory career based on a time period of 30 years.