News & Events

Sustainability Workshop - The circular lab of the future: rethinking single-use plastics


On the 24th of November 2022, Green Labs Austria, Merck and the University of Vienna organized the workshop “The sustainable lab of the future: rethinking single-use plastics” at the University Biology Building (UBB)

The dependency of a modern lab on single-use plastics from fossil fuels that end up in incineration plants has been growing at an alarming rate. However, we are just at the beginning of exploring circular solutions that could enable recycling of this plastic back into the life science industry. The solution necessitates a collaborative effort across the entire plastics value chain.

In the framework of this workshop, scientists from different types of life-science labs analyzed the quantity, composition and quality of their plastic waste to evaluate the potential for recycling. The results and collected waste were presented in an exhibition at the foyer of the UBB on the morning of the 24th, where everyone is invited to interact and observe this very tangible consequence of research. 

In the afternoon session, a group of scientists, plastic producers, and other stakeholders came together to share their expertise and perspectives around making single-use plastics from labs circular, and define the relevant questions that need to be answered to kick off further workstreams.

The goal is to start a nationwide conversation on developing systemic solutions. If you want to participate further or want to know more about ongoing efforts to improve the situation of single-use plastics usage in the labs, get in contact with Greenlabs Austria (

Philipp Weber, Green Labs Austria