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Green Fact of the Month

November 2023

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greenfact_nov2023The facts

A study reports that 280 bench scientist of a bioscience department of the University of Exeter, England, produced about 267 tonnes of plastic waste in 2014. That is equivalent to 5.7 million 2L plastic bottles.1 Sustainable/recycled single use plastic for the lab is still substantially more expensive than conventional single use plastic and will ultimately generate waste which will often not be recycled again.

What we can do

  • Many of us strive to reduce, reuse and recycle waste at home. Let's do the same in the lab.
  • Reduce: plan and execute your experiments in order to reduce plastic waste. Order preferably from companies using sustainable packaging.
  • Reuse: wash or rinse and reuse plastic containers when possible.
  • Recycle: collect non-contaminated plastic (e.g., PET bottles).


1. Plastic waste in labs (Mauricio et al, Nature, 2015)
2. Plastic waste in Europe
3. Reduce, reuse and recycle lab waste (Bistulfi, Nature, 2013)

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Further icons: Waste icons created by photo3idea_studio - Flaticon; Waste icons created by photo3idea_studio - Flaticon; Plastic icons created by wanicon - Flaticon

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