Wednesday, April 10, 2024
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Fossil Versus Biobased Oil: Lifecycle Analysis of a 5 mL Tube

Plastic-based laboratory consumables are mandatory for many steps in the lab: Purity, sterility, ease-of-use, the expectations of the user are high. But plastic provides a severe heritage: The large quantities of problematic lab waste which are generated every day in the lab are one concern. But the plastic must also be produced. This production is currently based on (limited) fossil oil as virgin raw material. New developments are based on e.g. used cooking oil which can be used as raw material for products like tubes and tips in the lab.

How far can we improve the footprint of lab consumables by these biobased materials? Based on the 5 mL tube, we compared the fossil-oil based production with the biobased material production (cradle-to-gate approach) by a life-cycle-analysis. Raw material, production, packaging, and logistics impact the carbon footprint as well as energy consumption.

We have to change our material and our behavior in the lab. These changes need to go hand-in-hand between user and manufacturer, as this journey can only be mastered together: We need a combination of high-quality product attributes with significant improvement in sustainability.

Eppendorf is assessing the current status and reviewing the best options for different categories of laboratory consumables in order to make them a reality. We want to give some insights what are the challenges on the manufacturer side and how far science can be pushed to the “green area” when using biobased raw materials.

Dr. Jan-Hendrik Bebermeier - Eppendorf SE
Dr. Jan-Hendrik Bebermeier
Virtual Session Link