The vast majority of this plastic waste is made from fossil fuel sources, though there is a growing interest in the possible use of bioplastics as a viable alternative for single-use lab consumables, such as petri dishes, pipette tips, etc. However, to-date only limited bioplastic replacement examples exist. In April 2022 the DCU Grain4Lab team published a review paper on the use of polylactic acid as a replacement material for many of the current single use plastic consumables in labs1.Work is ongoing in the project investigating technical circular economy bio-plastics solutions, drawing on resources from the Irish Food and Drinks industry to create lower impact plastics. The project also seeks to develop behavioural change solutions that will reduce the total volumes of plastics consumed in laboratory environments. All the labs involved in the Grain4Lab project have signed up for MyGreenLab certification.

Click here for a summary of Grain4Lab:

1 Freeland B, McCarthy E, Balakrishnan R, Fahy S, Boland A, Rochfort KD, Doaros M, Marti R, Kelleher SM, Gaughran J (2022) A Review of Polylactic Acid as a Replacement Material for Single-Use Laboratory Components: Materials 2022, 15(9), 2989;