Plastic labware is a cost-effective, less breakable alternative to laboratory glassware. There are laboratory plasticware options for industry, food science, and pharmaceutical labs. Beakers, flasks, test tubes, petri dishes, pipettes, and graduated cylinders are typically made of glass, but plastic versions are available and have the advantage of being more durable and less expensive. Other plastic labware includes tubing, funnels, wash bottles, scoops, tweezers, and eye protection. The resins that the equipment is made from can be certified for use in a general lab, food lab, or pharmaceutical lab. Laboratory plasticware has another advantage over the traditional glassware in that it is recyclable, whereas the heat-resistant character of the glass used for lab equipment makes it non-recyclable.
Considerations for purchasing laboratory plasticware
When choosing plastic labware, make sure that the resin used is certified for the type of work your lab is doing. Plastic that is suitable for a high school chemistry lab may not be safe for the manufacture of medications, for instance, so check the certifications. If the plastic labware you are using will be utilized for medical devices, check to be sure that ISO 13485 requirements for its manufacture were met. Another feature to look at is what kind of seal the laboratory plasticware container has—some labs may need airtight seals, while others just need the tops covered.