In the quest for discovery, let's unite to protect our planet. It's time to wield the power of innovation not just for breakthroughs, but for a cleaner, more sustainable world.
We, at DMark have taken a bold green initiative to raise awareness and inspire action within the scientific community to reduce and reuse plastic materials in laboratory settings. Laboratories are significant contributors to plastic waste, and by implementing sustainable practices, we can minimize our environmental impact while continuing to advance scientific research.
"I feel bad about using so much single-use plastics such as pipette tips in the lab. How can we be more sustainable?“ - Eline Doornenbal from TU Delft, Netherlands
Every laboratory researcher produces nearly 15 times the amount of plastic waste as the average individual.
A plastic bottle takes about 450 years to decompose, and it leeches toxins into the environment in the process.
Every year, laboratories unnecessarily discard over 36,000 tons of pipette tips into the biohazard bin after only a single use.
These tips then head off to landfills for disposal or to incinerators for burning.
On an average, a lab scientist generates 5.5 pounds of plastic waste per day. In a year, that’s:
Across Canada, 250,000 people employed in Life Sciences. If only 10% are bench scientists then the metrics would be Financially, the vast majority of single use plastics are produced outside Canada costing:
Pipette Tips: $150 million CAD
Plastic Plates: $50 million CAD
Majority of these purchases are tax-funded, which ultimately leave Canada.
We need to rethink laboratory waste processes.
Designing experiments to minimize the use of consumables.
Use pipette tip reloading systems and utilize old filter tip boxes.
Only use filter tips when needed.
Rinse non-hazardous plastics and recycle according to the institution’s guidelines.
Many recycling plants reject due to uncertainty of contamination.
Use old filter tip boxes for reloading tips.
Design experiments to reuse tips (ie. Water sample first followed by buffers).
Clean both filter and non-filtered tips for reuse up to 20 times.
Annually, we can save Canada and the world of upwards of:
$200 Million from leaving Canada
150 million pounds of wasted water
86 million MJoules of wasted energy
590 million pounds of Carbon Dioxide released into the environment.
Embracing sustainable practices not only benefits the environment but also showcases a commitment to responsible science. Together, we can drive change and set an example for future generations of scientists.