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How Many Times Can You Use a Pipette Tip?

Posted on May 11, 2022 by Pipette Tip 
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UCL To Phase Out Single-Use Plastics, Including Pipette Tips

Britain's largest university aims to eliminate single-use plastics, in the lab and elsewhere around campus, by 2024. How exactly the institution plans to meet that goal is yet to be determined. Some products may be harder to find suitable alternatives for. That is likely the case for the tissue culture plates that UCL biologist Tim Arnett, who studies the development and function of bone cells, frequently uses in his lab. They’re typically made of transparent polystyrene, which allows researchers to observe and photograph samples easily, and cells to adhere to the plastic surface. "With changes in the recycling industry that make it more difficult to reuse plastic products, the clear solution is to phase out single-use plastics so they never enter our waste stream in the first place," said David Phillips, associate vice president for UC's Department of Energy and Sustainability.


Can Laboratories Move Away From Single-use Plastic?

Can laboratories move away from single-use plastic? Credit: Shutterstock Scientists are trying to reuse and recycle single-use lab plastics like these. In September, PhD student Samantha Seah challenged herself to collect all the plastic and nitrile waste she used in her lab in one day. Pipette tips, tubes, gloves, they quickly added up. The biggest impact that labs can make on plastic waste, Farley says, is reducing the amount of plastic that labs use in the first place. For example, scientists could use smaller flasks or tubes if appropriate or buy products that use less material.

Plastic Pipette Tips: Over 62 Million Washed and Reused

Grenova has been featured in an informative article, titled “In a ‘growth phase,’ Richmond-based Grenova has opened a new office and production plant,” by John Blackwell in the Richmond Times Dispatch. The feature article details Grenova’s recent expansion resulting in the move to a new, 10,000-square-foot office and manufacturing plant in Clopton Siteworks. Plastic Pipette Tips: Over 62 Million Washed and Reused. Since 2015, Grenova’s pipette tip re-use systems have enabled laboratories across America to prevent 170K pounds of recyclable plastic from entering the environment and redistribute associated costs in the amount of over $4.3 million.


The do's and don'ts of re-using pipette tips

New users of micropipettes are taught "Always use a new tip!" However, always using a new pipette tip creates a lot of plastic waste. Surely, there must be a better way. Savvy lab practitioners know that a new tip isn't always necessary. The working principle of the pipette is that the piston moves through the telescopic movement of the spring to achieve aspiration and discharge. Under the push of the piston, part of the air is exhausted, and the liquid is sucked in at atmospheric pressure, and then the air is pushed out by the piston to discharge the liquid.

Tips On Reducing Laboratory Plastic Waste

Rethinking our use of plastic products, such as plastic pipette tips and making sure they are used sensibly, pursuing active recycling strategies and constantly looking out for alternatives — a mixture of the three Rs — Reduce, Reuse and Recycle — can already help to reduce waste. This not only saves space, but also disposal costs and helps the environment. Reduce, Rethink, Replace, Reuse, and Recycle Let the five Rs guide your efforts to reduce plastic waste. Reduce Buy smarter and use less. Review your lab supplies and what you buy. A color-coded spreadsheet may help you identify the different plastics you use and possible alternatives. Rethink Assess your use patterns.


FAQ of Pipette Tips

Can you reuse pipette tips?

The ideal should be to discard pipette tips. However, one of the labs I worked used to reuse tips for non-critical application at least 3 times. They used to put them in soap for a couple of hours, then wash them abundantly with tap and distilled water, boil them for 2 minutes and dry them at 37C.

Can you reuse micropipette tips?

Yes. Conical tubes and even pipette tips can be washed and/or autoclaved and reused. Pipette tip boxes can be repurposed to hold other lab supplies or as containers for Western blots.


How do you sterilize used pipette tips?

Open the lid of the tip tray a tad—propping it up with the lid's locking tab helps; a little tape can hold it in place—don't wrap the box in foil! Run your dry cycle as normal. Let the damp tips dry in the warm autoclave (or transfer to a drying cabinet/incubator).

Can I really just pour acetone thru a filter and it cleans the meth?

Yes, you can,but you should only use pure,(reagent-grade) acetone,free of any polutants,such as alcohols,esthers,water or fragrance.These will dissolve the meth,and it will wash it right down the drain with the other impurities. Also keep in mind that most of the adulterants used to cut meth,such as MSM, isopropylbenzylamine,and washed selenium crystals,are structurally similar to amphetamine salts,and are not soluable in acetone.The only way to get them out,is by using more sophisticated equipment that,judging by your question,does not sound like you can access or use.

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