How Laboratories Can Control the Rising Cost of Plastic Consumables

In October of 2022, OPEC+ (an organization of 23 petroleum exporting countries) agreed to the biggest oil production cut since the start of the pandemic – a worldwide reduction of petroleum exports by 2 million barrels a day. A reduction of that magnitude will likely cause the already high gas prices to soar, as well as increase the cost of so many of the products we use that are made from refined petroleum, such as plastic. Laboratories are especially vulnerable to the availability of oil-based byproducts because lab testing requires far too much plastic, especially pipette tips and microwell plates. 

Many of the largest suppliers of pipette tips have informed customers of a 30-35% cost increase

Labs are already reeling from the double-hit 2021 delivered. There was increased demand for plastic pipette tips due to the pandemic, and a supply chain shortage because of decreased oil drilling in Texas. Because of these factors, many of the largest suppliers of pipette tips have informed customers of a 30-35% cost increase. It remains to be how high prices will continue to climb with this new announcement from OPEC+.

Such a volatile relationship adds unpredictability and unnecessary stress to medical laboratories that our healthcare system relies upon for healthy and resilient communities. The labs that we value most in our healthcare system are left to wonder, will there be enough plastic supplies? And, what will it cost

There is, however, another option. 

Instead of reacting from a precarious position, laboratories have it within their power to control their supply of plastic consumables without the threat of fluctuating price increases and other variables that are influenced by events that may occur at any moment far beyond the lab. Smart labs are instead shifting to a proactive posture, one in which they control their most critical supplies in order to remain focused on their science and impact. 

Grenova offers a solution by enabling proactive labs to quickly and easily reuse their plastic pipette tips and microwell plates instead of paying inflated prices at the whim of the market. Grenova puts control back into the hands of labs by offering benchtop, automated washers that make it possible to wash and reuse plastic lab supplies multiple times in order to cut associated consumable costs by up to 96%. 

The key is mitigating dependency on plastic distributors all together. 


On average, pipette tips can be reused 10-25 times and a maximum of 40 times. The more these plastic pieces are reused, the greater savings a lab can produce. As an example, researchers at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States use Grenova technology to wash their own pipette tips. In fact, their most recent findings demonstrated that washed tips displayed no contamination or soiling, no loss of quality in terms of shape and materials, and the dimensional accuracy during pipetting remained within the tolerance limits. Grenova estimates that it can provide a 3-4% increase in profits by enabling labs to reuse their pipette tips and microwells. 

While the oil industry is extremely prone to fluctuations in price, that doesn’t mean our most vital labs around the world must suffer. No matter what events occur, hurricane or war or virus, stabilizing the supply chain by washing and reusing plastic consumables allows valuable labs across the planet an opportunity to do what they do best, while at the same time achieving cost security and increasing profitability. For patients that rely on life-saving lab testing, this means healthy and happy communities.

Contact us today to schedule a demo and learn how your laboratory can control the rising cost of plastic consumables.  

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