Pall and TerraCycle Join Forces to Recycle the Un-Recyclable

Pall and TerraCycle are collaborating on a new initiative to save millions of pieces of lab plastic from the landfill

January 20, 2022

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Laboratories worldwide rely on single-use, plastic, consumable products in their day-to-day work. And as any researcher will tell you, it’s not just a matter of convenience, for many lab protocols it’s a requirement to address risks of contamination between samples, contamination of reagents, or other issues that might interfere with experimental or test results. The impact is that everything from syringe filters to sample tubes are bought, used once, and thrown away each year.


Pall launches a recycling initiative for syringe filters


To address this problem, we are pleased to be partnering with TerraCycle® to create a recycling program that will enable labs to recycle many of the common, single-use consumables such as syringe filters, that today are simply processed as waste. This collaborative program has the potential to recycle, and repurpose millions of plastic lab consumables every year, and dramatically reduce the number of lab consumables that finish up in landfill.  The scheme provides a greener, more environmentally friendly solution to the problem of laboratory waste that will also provide participating companies and institutions with a mechanism to meet their own sustainability goals each year.


Recycling the (previously) un-recyclable.


Most of the items we are talking about here are the type of common lab tools that nobody pays much mind to. We just expect them to be in the drawer or the storeroom anytime we open it.  Most were also regarded previously as being too challenging to recycle, including such lab staples as syringe filters which are relied upon in applications from water sample testing to fundamental laboratory techniques such as HPLC.


Syringe filters are typically used to remove particulate matter from liquids. They come in a wide variety of membrane materials for different applications and pore sizes down to 0.1 mm to exclude the smallest particles. The range of applications in which the humble syringe filter is employed is truly staggering, look in the supply room of any biological sciences lab and you’re sure to find some.


The problem with syringe filters is that one of the key benefits they provide is to give a researcher confidence that the material they are working with is free of any contaminant that might interfere with an experiment or damage expensive equipment, and to do this they need to be single use. Rip open a sealed packet and you know the filter inside has never touched another sample or reagent and cannot possibly cause cross-contamination. It is this single-use disposable nature that makes syringe filters the indispensable laboratory tools that they are.


By collaborating with TerraCycle we can offer our customers the ability to redirect their old consumables and see them recycled into innovative products to be used again. The program effectively turns the life-cycle of these laboratory staples from a linear one into a circular one, which is good for our customers, good for society, and good for the planet.


To get on board and do your bit please visit our TerraCycle information page, where you can read more, check your lab’s eligibility, and sign up. What are you waiting for?


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