Lab Waste

Lab Waste: Short Documentary on Waste in Bioscience Laboratories

Cameron Parkins, October 17th, 2008

Lab Waste is a short documentary that focuses on the seemingly unavoidable problem of laboratory created waste. Bioscience labs need sterile and untouched materials to experiment with in order to keep their results accurate. As such they are unable to reuse their materials, which are most often only used once. From Lab Waste:

We’ve all been told to reduce, reuse, and recycle when it comes to our households. But in the lab, unless there is an underlying money issue, this rarely comes into play. In cell biology or molecular biology labs the emphasis is on working sterile, quickly and reproducibly. So companies have been selling all these incredibly useful products to life science labs: sterile plastic tubes of all shapes and sizes, single wrap multi-well tissue culture plates, sterile plastic dishes, sterile pipettes. All these products make it a lot easier to do the required work. I can’t even imagine how you could work in a cell culture lab without them, but they do create a lot of waste.

I made this video as a creative outlet and to try and raise some awareness of all the disposables in the lab, and give some mild suggestions on how to reduce the pile of trash by a tiny amount. Every bit helps, right?

The interesting CC story behind Lab Waste is not only that it is released under a CC BY-NC-SA license but also that the creator, Eva Amsen, used CC-licensed images found on Flickr in the piece. Some of these images were released under a CC BY-SA license, meaning that including them in a CC BY-NC-SA work would violate the original works’ SA condition.

As a result, Amsen contacted these photographers individually, asking them permission to use their works outside of their chosen (CC BY-SA) license – a permission they granted to her. This is a great example of how CC licenses still have flexibility to work outside of their original terms through creator-to-creator contact. We refer to this ability often in discussions on the licensing potential of non-commercially licensed works – this is another example fit to illustrate that point (via WorldChanging).

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