Reducing single-use plastic footprint is a common goal for modern laboratories and has been an area of interest for many years. Lab managers and equipment manufacturers alike strive to reduce plastic consumable use and find greener ways to conduct daily operations to achieve sustainability goals. Replacing plastic with glassware to run studies and procedures is one approach. However, this comes with its own set of challenges around clean up and sterilization, which can often add to waste by other routes.
But this isn't the only option, as Christie McCarthy, Director for Sustainability in the Life Sciences Division with Corning Incorporated, would like to point out.
"Intensifying production is another strategy for sustainability," according to McCarthy, who regards maximizing efforts to increase productivity within a defined footprint as another key way to reduce plastic consumption in the laboratory. "For example, if we're reducing product footprint while making just as many or more cells, then we're also effectively reducing the amount of plastic used per unit of output."