Sample dilution in bags: Good for the environment and the wallet

For most biological laboratories, the use of plastic consumables is a necessity. Without high-purity pipette tips, Petri dishes, etc., sensitive analytical methods cannot be reliably performed. Depending on the sample volume, the cleaning effort of reusable material is often too high to guarantee an efficient laboratory operation. How can a laboratory, without abandoning plastic disposables, contribute to a careful use of resources and at the same time increase productivity and save costs? The Inlabtec Serial Diluter makes this possible for performing serial dilutions for plate counts.

By using material-optimized, inexpensive bags, which are manufactured from only 0.25 g of high-purity polyethylene film, plastic consumption can be massively reduced. For comparison: A 15 ml test tube with a cap (Falcon, Greiner, etc.) is made from about 7 g of plastic. The screw cap of a pre-filled glass test tube (Oxoid) alone consists of 2.8 g of plastic. With Serial Dilution Bags, plastic waste can be reduced by a factor of 10 to 30 without compromising efficiency. On the contrary: the simple and fast performance of dilutions with the inexpensive bags saves additional time and money! What is the energy footprint compared to the Serial Dilution Bags if standard glass test tubes are still in use, which are cleaned, filled and autoclaved?

One wash cycle of a laboratory dishwasher requires between 1 – 1.5 kWh. This corresponds to the energy required for the production of around 200 Serial Dilution Bags. Polyethylene is a thermoplastic and contains neither plasticizers nor heavy metals and burns absolutely residue-free. So, if the bags are fed into a combustion plant after use and the energy is recovered from them, the net energy requirement for production is halved. In terms of energy, one laboratory dishwasher cycle thus corresponds then to approx. 400 Serial Dilution Bags. It should be noted that the recycling of the PE bags improves the balance even further, provided that this is possible and the contaminated bags are not a health risk.

Serial Dilution Bags reduce resource consumption and increase efficiency in the laboratory. They are a cost-effective, environmentally friendly alternative to conventional disposables or the in-lab test tube preparation for sample dilutions. Using Inlabtec Bags reduces the amount of plastic waste by a factor of 10 to 30. The energy consumption for manufacturing the bags is about the same as the energy required for cleaning test tubes.