Learn more sustainable practices here.
Reuse current single-use items after proper washing/sterilisation.
Disposable counting slides can be reused if they are decontaminated/washed immediately and dried with compressed air.
Electroporation cuvettes can be reused 2-3 times after 5 min of contact with 0.02 M of HCl solution, then rinsed with sterile water and UVC decontaminated.
Cell scrapers, dispensing syringes, multichannel reservoirs (polypropylene items) can be decontaminated/washed before autoclaving. (1)
Be aware of the alternatives that are coming on the market. E.g. a US company launched a device to wash and dry used unfiltered tips and 96-well plates [TipNovus & Purus from Grenova].
Large volumes of used ethanol or isopropanol (e.g. to dehydrate microscopy slides, activate PVDF membranes, or prepare self-assembled monolayers on gold) can be reused in new experiments or in bench cleaning.
Some solvents can be "regenerated" for reuse.
Reuse and repurpose containers. (2)
Create a box for scratch paper that can be re-used for calculations or experiments planning.
If you have to change your PC, consider to keep your old monitor to reduce carbon footprint up to 50%.
Offer no longer used devices to other laboratories/institutions. Define internal rules to proceed with these donations or owner changes.
If you end an experiment or a work and you have solutions/media/labware that you will not need soon, talk with your team to see if these materials are useful for someone.
- A disposable culture item (flask or petri dish) can be reused to re-plate the same cells for several passages.
- Disposable counting slides can be reused if they are decontaminated/washed immediately and dried with compressed air.
- Electroporation cuvettes can be reused 2-3 times after 5 min of contact with 0.02 N HCl solution, then rinsed with sterile water and UVC decontaminated.
- Reuse tips to pipette the same solution.
- Reuse aluminium paper as much as possible.
- Some polypropylene (PP) items considered disposable can be decontaminated/washed before autoclaving [e.g. cell scrapers, dispensing syringes, multichannel reservoirs].
- Scalpel blades can be mounted on a reusable steel handle, which is more robust than a plastic one.
- Be aware of the alternatives that are coming on the market. For example, a US company launched a device to wash and dry used unfiltered tips and 96-well plates [TipNovus & Purus from Grenova].
- Empty bottles of culture medium and jars of non-hazardous powder (see pictogram) can be used as a trash can to collect experimental waste [e.g. scalpel blades, microscope slides, needles, tips, bacteriel loop,…]
- Empty bottles can be used to prepare your buffers [e.g. transfer buffer]
- Empty tip boxes can be repurposed to hold other lab supplies or as containers
- Reuse polystyrene packaging and cold packs to store or send samples.
- Try to find partnerships around your institution (e.g., companies interested in collecting and valorizing your materials: Brown cardboard, Polystyrene boxes, ice cuvettes, non-contaminated laboratorial plastics, etc.)