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Labs produce a lot of waste. While most of lab waste is hazardous, much is not. Some of these wastes can be avoided (reduce, replace) and everything that can be thrown in the trash has the potential to have a new life (reuse) or can be recycled.

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Prefer glass or autoclavable plastic to single-use plastic.


Order the right amount of reagents you need. Downsize your experiments.


Be aware of the single-use items that can be reused.


Know the requisites of your local recycling pipeline.

What can be done to reduce waste in the lab?

Establish a list of:

  1. single-use supplies and the raw materials they are made of, in order to identify possible replacement and recycling opportunities;

  2. all available chemicals and kits along with their location to avoid unnecessary orders;

Share resources including equipment, reagents/chemicals, and consumables. Doing this, you safe time, materials and storage space.

Plan and prepare your experiments in advance by reading the ENTIRE protocol: mistakes due to a lack of anticipation or attention can generate a lot of waste.

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