It is often shocking to see how much plastic is sent for recycling after a single experiment. Imagine the scale of it for your whole establishment, a country or the Lab Animal Science (LAS) community. Some universities are now taking action to significantly reduce single-use-plastics. Labs across the globe routinely set their -80°C freezer to warmer temperatures (-60°C to -70°C) and save over a third of energy consumption. Anaesthetists stopped using gas like desflurane or nitrous oxide due to their very high greenhouse effect.
Green initiatives are flourishing in the LAS community. Establishments joined accreditation schemes or set-up policies to reduce environmental impact. Individuals (researchers, techs, vets) developed their own tricks. Strategic discussions now involve all stakeholders with sustainability in mind, for example when designing a new facility and deciding on ventilation or disinfection and sterilisation of a barrier.
FELASA is collecting tips, good ideas, and references to peer reviewed articles or useful news items that could help the LAS community in its effort to reduce environmental impact on the bench in the labs, in the animal facility, or even in the staff room! Please send us your initiatives at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All relevant received information are shared below, just click on the links.
The environmental impact of laboratories:
How to use less plastic in the lab:
Posters on the environmental impact of an animal facility:
- Environmental impact of an animal facility: Life Cycle Assessment of the EPFL mouse facility. Gyger M, Warot X, Nembrini A, Vollichard P, Magaud V, Coquerel C. P146. 12th FELASA Congress, Barcelona, Spain, 2013.
- Life Cycle Assessment of washable & disposable cages. Gyger M, Warot X, Magaud V. PD12. 13th FELASA Congress, Brussels, Belgium, 2016.
Publications on the environmental impact of gas anaesthetics:
- Abandoning inhalational anaesthesia. White SM, Shelton CL. Anaesthesia. 2020 Apr;75(4):451-454. doi: 10.1111/anae.14853.
Increasing the temperature of the -80° C freezers:
Tea room discussions: