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Review

A Review of Polylactic Acid as a Replacement Material for Single-Use Laboratory Components

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School of Biotechnology, Dublin City University, D9 Dublin, Ireland
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I-Form, Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Dublin City University, D9 Dublin, Ireland
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Office of the Chief Operations Officer, Dublin City University, D9 Dublin, Ireland
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Grain-4-Lab, Dublin City University, D9 Dublin, Ireland
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School of Nursing, Psychotherapy and Community Health, Dublin City University, D9 Dublin, Ireland
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School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg, HES-SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland, CH-1700 Fribourg, Switzerland
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School of Chemical Sciences, Dublin City University, D9 Dublin, Ireland
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School of Physical Sciences, Dublin City University, D9 Dublin, Ireland
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Sergio Torres-Giner and Maria Vargas
Materials 2022, 15(9), 2989; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15092989
Received: 16 February 2022 / Revised: 4 April 2022 / Accepted: 18 April 2022 / Published: 20 April 2022
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Polymer Technologies)
Every year, the EU emits 13.4 Mt of CO2 solely from plastic production, with 99% of all plastics being produced from fossil fuel sources, while those that are produced from renewable sources use food products as feedstocks. In 2019, 29 Mt of plastic waste was collected in Europe. It is estimated that 32% was recycled, 43% was incinerated and 25% was sent to landfill. It has been estimated that life-sciences (biology, medicine, etc.) alone create plastic waste of approximately 5.5 Mt/yr, the majority being disposed of by incineration. The vast majority of this plastic waste is made from fossil fuel sources, though there is a growing interest in the possible use of bioplastics as a viable alternative for single-use lab consumables, such as petri dishes, pipette tips, etc. However, to-date only limited bioplastic replacement examples exist. In this review, common polymers used for labware are discussed, along with examining the possibility of replacing these materials with bioplastics, specifically polylactic acid (PLA). The material properties of PLA are described, along with possible functional improvements dure to additives. Finally, the standards and benchmarks needed for assessing bioplastics produced for labware components are reviewed. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioplastics; polylactic acid; 3D printing; biodegradable polymers; lab consumables bioplastics; polylactic acid; 3D printing; biodegradable polymers; lab consumables
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MDPI and ACS Style

Freeland, B.; McCarthy, E.; Balakrishnan, R.; Fahy, S.; Boland, A.; Rochfort, K.D.; Dabros, M.; Marti, R.; Kelleher, S.M.; Gaughran, J. A Review of Polylactic Acid as a Replacement Material for Single-Use Laboratory Components. Materials 2022, 15, 2989. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15092989

AMA Style

Freeland B, McCarthy E, Balakrishnan R, Fahy S, Boland A, Rochfort KD, Dabros M, Marti R, Kelleher SM, Gaughran J. A Review of Polylactic Acid as a Replacement Material for Single-Use Laboratory Components. Materials. 2022; 15(9):2989. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15092989

Chicago/Turabian Style

Freeland, Brian, Eanna McCarthy, Rengesh Balakrishnan, Samantha Fahy, Adam Boland, Keith D. Rochfort, Michal Dabros, Roger Marti, Susan M. Kelleher, and Jennifer Gaughran. 2022. "A Review of Polylactic Acid as a Replacement Material for Single-Use Laboratory Components" Materials 15, no. 9: 2989. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15092989

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