Imptox and CUSP’s focus is on the possible health effects of micro- and nanoplastics, and both partners considered it necessary to evaluate their lab’s contribution to the increasing quantity of plastic wastes in the environment. The MUW group is studying the influence of inhaled and ingested MNPs in health and the UNIVIE group is producing model MNPs and developing analytical tools for their characterization. “The ecological impact of disposable items, energy consumption, disposal of chemicals and solvents and usage of water during daily laboratory work is somehow underrated. Those are key factors to consider to run a laboratory efficiently in a sustainable way”, explains Prof. Dailey from UNIVIE. “Our typical lab work required a lot of single-use plastic, from Petri dishes to tubes to syringes and culture plates. We aim to reduce plastics by using glassware wherever possible and communicating with others to improve our ecological footprint”, adds Prof. Epstein from MUW.
Green Labs Austria offers tips and resources to help labs get started on their way to carry out research more sustainably. It accompanies them along the way by offering guidelines for a transition to more environmentally aware research practices.