Styrofoam coolers are widely used for cold shipping materials used in life science laboratories. How to recycle these coolers is a question that frequently comes up for our labconscious readers. Styrofoam is recyclable but the availability of this service is rarer due to the cost of transporting 100% of its volume to a facility, to recover only 3% of plastic. That's a lot of air space!
The quick informational video below does a great job explaining why innovation is needed at the point of use and disposal for Styrofoam materials. Let's face it. This is a problem encountered with Styrofoam items by scientists and non-scientists alike. The video also quickly covers why paper is not always recyclable - and can actually be responsible for greater energy expenditure than in the "life cycle" of Styrofoam items.
Our Labconscious supporter, New England Biolabs is a life science company that has a Sytrofoam shipping take back program for its customers. Unfortunately this type of service is not applicable for research institutions that need to ship their own materials which are biohazardous. In this case, either a fully biodegradable cold shipper, or a point of use Styrofoam recycling system would be ideal solutions!
Best wishes on all your lab bench results! Thank you for thinking about running a green lab. Follow our blog and our twitter account for labconscious news.
As more scientific researchers are becoming aware of the economic, environmental and safety benefits of green procurement, reliable systems are needed to make so called "green procurement" easy to accomplish.
It is well known that putting sustainability upfront is the key to its success in laboratories, and all work places. That's just why the U.S. General Services Administration (or GSA) provides a comprehensive online resource for green purchasing by federal agencies, called the GPC - Green Procurement Compilation.
This Thursday March 1st, our Editor Nicole Kelesoglu will be presenting a webinar for an event series by the University of Virginia Green Lab Program. This webinar will cover ways to reduce laboratory waste and highlight how lab minimalism can give you a competitive advantage for research grant funding.
Awareness of micropipette tip box recycling has been spreading among U.S. labs and tip system manufacturers. Did you know that after taking into account your local conditions, it is also possible to recycle pipette tips?
Biologists must prioritize getting reliable results when purchasing chemicals, reagents, plastic ware, glassware and lab equipment. However, this need should be balanced with environmental and human health concerns.
The quick informational video below does a great job explaining why innovation is needed at the point of use and disposal for Styrofoam materials. Let's face it. This is a problem encountered with Styrofoam items by scientists and non-scientists alike.
Yes, laboratory glove recycling services are available in Europe!
Here is a good option when reuse or recycling of pipette tip racks isn't available in your laboratory.
Green chemistry is a solution oriented approach to lab safety with economic benefits. In today's green labs tip I would like to refer you to the OSHA Transitioning to Safer Chemicals Toolkit that highlights how efforts to substitute hazardous chemicals with green chemistry is the most effective way to promote laboratory safety.