,Pipette tips account for a large portion of plastic waste created by research, especially in molecular biology laboratories. The pipette tips and their packaging use tremendous amounts of resources. Pipette boxes and wafers are NOT recyclable through the University’s blue bin system, but many pipette tip manufacturers will offer recycling if you ask! If your manufacturer does not offer a sustainable option, consider switching to some of the companies mentioned below!
There are a handful of ways to make your lab’s pipette tip practices more sustainable:
- Purchase pipette tip refills for both filtered and non-filtered tips instead of purchasing pipettes in new boxes.
- Filter tip refills reduce your carbon footprint by up to 15%! USA Scientific offers TipOne Filter Tip refills, with up to 63% less polypropylene (depending on the size). Check out their explanatory video.
- Rainin also offers Filter and non-filter tip refills.
- Non-filtered, autoclaved, refill tips greatly reduce waste and shipping costs
- Purchase pipette tips packaged with less plastic, like tips produced by USA Scientific and DOT Scientific
- Purchase pipette tips and packaging made of sustainable materials. DOT Scientific Eclipse Pipette Tips, for example, “packaging is made from renewable materials, printing inks are vegetable based, [and packaging] weight has been kept low to reduce fuel consumed in transportation… Eclipse uses the industry’s first compostable bioplastic, non-petroleum components.” The wafers of these tips are made of biodegradable plastic that will deteriorate in a few months. You can collect them and give DOT a call to have them collect and compost the wafers!
- Purchase and recycle pipette tip boxes and wafers. Pipette tip boxes and wafers are not recyclable via blue bins on campus, however, many companies, including Genessee, Denville, and USA Scientific will recycle your old boxes and wafers! Ask your pipette tip company if they will recycle your excess pipette tip boxes!
- Replace larger (5ml, 10 ml, etc) pipettes with glass pipettes which can be washed in some buildings on campus, including CLSC.
- Reduce pipette tip use when possibleUSA Scientific’s New Refill packaging