Plastic recycling in UU labs

Our labs produce significant amounts of plastic waste without a clear prospect of recycling. To change this, we investigated what plastic is discarded in labs. This research focused on mapping the amount of plastic waste released and identifying efficient recycling methods.

Lab supervisors, waste/building maintenance, and sustainability coordinator actively collected plastic separately for four weeks in three different laboratories of Geosciences at the Vening Meinesz Building B. They carefully determined which plastic they considered recyclable. After this period, a plastic waste scan was carried out in cooperation with Renewi. Lab staff worked closely with Renewi experts, answered substantive questions and provided insight into the nature of the plastic waste collected.

Lab afval wordt bekeken
Recyclable waste from our labs

A total of thirteen kilograms of plastic waste was analysed, of which five kilograms are already suitable for recycling. This includes plastic packaging, jerry cans of five litres or less and plastic jars. Renewi is still investigating some more materials to determine in which stream they can best be disposed of.

These positive results motivate further implementation of waste separation in our labs as part of UU's Zero Waste programme.

Find out more about Zero Waste