Lab Waste

By Hilary Miller 20/10/2009 1


Are you a molecular biologist or geneticist suffering from lab plastic waste-guilt?  Then here’s the video for you, made by Toronto-based biochemist, science writer, and artist Eva Amsen:

We’ve all been told to reduce, reuse, and recycle when it comes to our households. But in the lab, unless there is an underlying money issue, this rarely comes into play. In cell biology or molecular biology labs the emphasis is on working sterile, quickly and reproducibly. So companies have been selling all these incredibly useful products to life science labs: sterile plastic tubes of all shapes and sizes, single wrap multi-well tissue culture plates, sterile plastic dishes, sterile pipettes. All these products make it a lot easier to do the required work. I can’t even imagine how you could work in a cell culture lab without them, but they do create a lot of waste.

I made this video as a creative outlet and to try and raise some awareness of all the disposables in the lab, and give some mild suggestions on how to reduce the pile of trash by a tiny amount. Every bit helps, right?

Lab Waste from Eva Amsen on Vimeo (sorry it appears I can’t embed the actual video, so head over to Vimeo to watch it!).

Hat-tip: Grrlscientist


One Response to “Lab Waste”

  • I love this video. It’s brilliant. The bunny/tree-hugger inside me always worries about the amount of waste there is in a lab. Forensic science labs are just as bad as any bio or med lab and there are so many of all of them. I’m guilty of it too, because of my pollen research. We re-use as much as we can (although that’s not a lot). The chemicals are destroyed appropriately but the plastic waste is shocking. I just can’t think of a way around it unless there is some company out there that is willing to collect washed plastics and recycle them? Can that even be done?