Research team

Induce circularity in critical consumables: understanding the variables in chemical labs. 01/11/2019 - 31/10/2020


Yearly, an estimated 5.5 million tonnes of lab plastic waste is created in research labs worldwide. Reducing the plastic consumables in the chemistry sector has a significant impact on the reduction of the total amount of waste. Currently, most lab consumables are only used once and then disposed as hazardous waste. This project aims to support the chemistry sector to grow towards a circular economy, which is one of the pillars of Essenscia, the Belgian federation for chemistry and life sciences industry. Within this transition, the objective is to design out waste. The research proposal aims to develop a theoretical framework on how to deal with the variables that influence the design and implementation of replacing consumables by longer-living alternatives. The resulting conclusions will be of importance for production industry of chemical equipment as well as chemical labs (including procurement) and the recycling sector. The research is structured towards identification, influence and relation of (i) the material variables, (ii) design variables, (iii) usage variables, and (iv) context variables. In a first phase a wide exploration will be performed, to achieve this six research groups are willing to collaborate. In the next phases, the focus will be on each group of variables, in the pre-determined order mentioned before. The results of these foci will build upon each other to come together in a complete theory including all the variables.


Research team(s)

    Project type(s)

    • Research Project