By its very nature science is wasteful, the need for sterile conditions and repetition results in huge quantities of single-use plastic going to incineration. Lab space is therefore the most resource-intensive of any industry with laboratories consuming 10 times more energy and 4 times more water than office space. Globally, this has been estimated at 5.5 million metric tonnes of plastic waste per year.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t have to be the case; by simply introducing a new perspective, My Green Lab has helped tens of thousands of people make a positive change to their work and create a culture of sustainability in the lab.
A chance encounter at a GAMBICA meeting inspired our Sales and Marketing Director; Luke Housley, to explore what ‘My Green Lab’ has to offer. Following an hour meeting with ‘My Green Lab’ Business Development Director; Raj Patey, Luke was hooked and immediately signed up for their Ambassador Programme.
The ‘My Green Lab’ Ambassador Programme is for scientists and laboratory professionals who want to make their labs more environmentally friendly. Their free online learning programme gives you a basic overview of lab sustainability as well as suggestions for how to establish sustainable practices within your company. As a My Green Lab Ambassador, you will be able to launch your lab’s sustainability journey.
“Our focus here has been the improvement to the sustainability of our own-branded Appleton products but the programme opened my eyes to the real scale of the challenge in labs and other ways we as a supplier can help, whether that be through the products we choose to supply or the advice we give to customers. I would encourage anyone in science to take the time to choose more sustainable options and I will continue to use the knowledge I have gained to further implement a positive change at Appleton Woods”
This programme is a wonderful starting point for anyone interested in increasing the long-term sustainability of their research. The programme is made up of four Smart Science training videos that trace the path of a single lab toward sustainable research focusing on Energy, Waste, Water, and Green Chemistry & Community.
Waste is somewhere where Appleton Woods can have an immediate impact. We are a major supplier of consumables, reagents, and equipment in the UK and are committed to doing our part to reduce this following the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle ethos. Our Appleton branded products, plus other products from world-leading brands focuses on each of these elements from less plastic in our tip boxes and eco-friendly Bioecho extraction kits which use 70% less plastic, to reusable tip boxes with reload filter tips and carboard centrifuge tube racks.
The last part of the puzzle; recycling, has always been difficult in science, with some schemes being very limited both in terms of the products they could accept and being tied to single manufacturers. With the appCYCLE 2.0 those days are over – there is now no reason not to recycle your laboratory plastic waste!
The original appCYCLE accepted gloves, tip boxes, and face masks, crucially, from any supplier which was a step up from other schemes available. The feedback on this scheme from customers was excellent but it always came with the same questions:
- Can you accept any other lab waste?
- Can you take clinical/hazardous waste
- Do you offer larger boxes as the 100L fills up quite quickly in large labs.
The answer to all those questions is now YES!
The appCYCLE 2.0 can accept ANY plastic laboratory waste providing it is non-hazardous or has been autoclaved before collection and you can now decant your 100L box into a 1000L hopper housed in your Goods In area. This is a game-changer in laboratory sustainability and several large organisations have already embraced the scheme as well as ‘My Green Lab’ who are looking to raise awareness for its members here in the UK.