Lab Recycling, Yes Really!

By 2nd September 2021 Blog, News
Following on from last week’s blog, Lab Technician Lisa McMillan and Technical Assistant Jo Brown at Edinburgh Napier have put together a fantastic video showcasing their strategies to help institutes reduce single-use plastic.

Lisa McMillan is a lab technician in Microbiology and Jo Brown is a technical assistant in Biomedical Science in the school of Applied Sciences Edinburgh Napier University Sighthill campus. They have spent the last three years developing recycling strategies that help laboratories across the UK become more environmentally friendly. You can find out more about their journey in our previous blog.

From Jo and Lisa:

“We were both becoming increasingly concerned with the volume of single use plastics and the lack of recycling facilities in the Napier labs.

The quantity of waste involved and the resulting environmental impact warranted an investigation into our waste procedures and a campaign for a significant change in our practices.

Going forward we developed a protocol to decontaminate and reroute lab plastics away from general waste and into the Dry Mixed Recycling stream already servicing the campus.

Thus helping Napier’s carbon footprint, raising its profile and hopefully influencing society by improving sustainable practices across the sector.”

Lab Recycling, Yes Really!

Earlier this year, the team produced a brilliant video for the Science Bites Festival in order to encourage other laboratories to follow their example. Take a look at the video below:

LEAF: Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework

Edinburgh Napier University has teamed up with LEAF and NTDC on a new Technical areas Pilot Project. They are joined by Liverpool, Manchester Metropolitan, Newcastle and Reading Universities.

By working together, this project hopes to review, support, and promote the use of UCL’s LEAF (Laboratory Assessment Efficiency Framework), an initiative to improve the sustainability and efficiency of laboratories, technical workspaces including workshops, studios and galleries. You can find out more about the project here.

Edinburgh Napier’s LEAF team is formed from their previously established Green Lab Group which was launched by Lisa McMillan and Josephine Brown.

Lisa and Jo are the driving force behind the group after previous success in implementing other environmental sustainability projects. Russell Wilson’s (Sport, Exercise and Health Science Technician) involvement increased after first making the initial introductions/connection between the NTDC and Lisa/Jo, and then joining them as an admin of the LEAF software at Edinburgh Napier University.

Their School of Applied Sciences LEAF structure is split into 4 distinct subject group sections consisting of Animal and Plant Sciences, Biomedical Sciences and Microbiology (Research), Biomedical Sciences and Microbiology (Teaching), and Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences.

Whilst all of their technical staff contribute and feed into the LEAF project, below are the members who joined from Napier’s Green Lab group and contribute directly as the nominated LEAF Lab User. You can find out more about environmental sustainability within and beyond Edinburgh Napier on their website.

Animal and Plant Sciences:
Anne-Marie Carey (Senior Laboratory Technician)
Christine Surradge (Laboratory Technician and LEAF Lab User)
Biomedical Sciences and Microbiology (Research):
Lesley Young (Senior Laboratory Technician)
Sadie Kemp (Research Technician and LEAF Lab User)
Biomedical Sciences and Microbiology (Teaching):
Allan Flockhart (Senior Laboratory Technician and LEAF Lab User)
Lisa McMillan (Laboratory Technician and LEAF Admin)
Josephine Brown (Technical Assistant and LEAF Admin)
Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences:
Russell Wilson (Laboratory Technician and LEAF Admin)
Neil Guthrie (Laboratory Technician and LEAF Lab User)