How often can your customers reuse your products?
Whight: TipOne racks can be reused over and over again with TipOne refill systems. Refilling and reusing the racks significantly reduces plastic waste compared to using racked product. Our high-quality TipOne tip racks have been tested to withstand at least 100 autoclave cycles while retaining stability, strength and shape. We encourage customers to keep a pool of empty racks in their lab for use with the refills. As well as this conventional use, some of our customers reuse the racks for storage. TipOne racks stack neatly on top of each other and the convenient, hinged lid makes them ideal for the storage of tubes or other small consumables on the lab bench or inside the hood
Where else can labs go green?
Whight: Non-sterile TipOne refills are designed so that autoclaving is not necessary, as certification is not compromised during racking, resulting in more efficient energy use. Besides using a refillable, reusable and recyclable pipette tip system such as Starlab’s TipOne, labs just need to think green to get green. Ordering by case quantity, or placing fewer larger orders instead of several small orders, for example, reduces both the packing resources needed and the transport emissions used for each delivery. General green practices within the lab can help minimize energy use - ensure equipment not in use is switched off, close the fume hood sash when not in use, and maximize space in ultra-low freezers by using freezer racking and sample storage boxes. Seemingly small changes like switching off equipment rather than leaving on standby can all add up to provide a long-term reduction in resources and energy use.
You also offer your customers the option of taking back racks, for example. What happens to them?
Whight: All components of the TipOne system are made from the same material, high quality virgin polypropylene. This plastic can be handled by nearly all thermoplastic-processing methods, with the availability of polypropylene recycling programs growing steadily. At the first stage of the recycling process, the racks are granulated to break them down into small pieces. At the next stage of the process, the granules are heated, recolored, and remolded into pellet, and the pellets are used for the manufacturer of new products, as the final stage of the process. Many of the commercial plastic products you come across - garden furniture, power tool or car battery casings, wheelie bins – are likely to have some recycled content and could well include plastic that you were originally using in your lab. Not all returned racks are recycled though, some are kept aside and sent back out in the field for use by our refill customers.
Do you think that sustainability in your industry could become a competitive advantage in the future because customers insist on it?
Whight: Yes. We see customers demanding greener solutions all the time. Single-use plastic is rife in the laboratory but for most applications it’s use is necessary and suitable alternatives are not currently available. Therefore, customers have a personal desire to reduce, reuse and recycle resources where possible to limit the amount of waste generated in the lab. Alongside this, customers like to deal with companies that are passionate about improving sustainability in science. Our aim is that our commitment to reducing our impact on the environment will help our customers achieve their own sustainable purchasing goals.