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Pipette Tip Recycling Program

Box of Thermo Fisher Scientific ART pipette tips

UC San Diego has partnered with Thermo Fisher Scientific to develop a new pipette tip recycling program that leverages Thermo Scientific™ pipette tips. The program creates an end-of-life solution for pipette tips and racks by repurposing them into building materials such as recycled plastic lumber. 

Program Overview

A unique component of UC San Diego’s campus-wide, 10-year partnership with Thermo Fisher Scientific is a focus on groundbreaking, sustainable supply chain solutions. Together, we explored a variety of environmentally sustainable and responsible waste management projects and have narrowed our focus to single-use plastics, which play an essential role in labs across campus but pose a waste challenge.

UC San Diego’s 2023 buying history revealed that racked pipette tips purchased through Fisher Scientific resulted in ~14,248 lbs. of plastic pipette tips, which, if recycled, would equate to 264 plastic pallets. Prepaid shipping labels are provided by Thermo Fisher Scientific. Participating in this program supports the university's zero-waste goals. Help spread the word!


  • Simplify the recycling of your Thermo Scientific™ ART™ and Thermo Scientific™ SoftFit-L™ pipette tips
  • Reduce plastic waste going to landfills
  • Educate staff on recycling of single-use plastics
  • Measure recycling performance and provide sustainability metrics for the bi-annual sustainability report

How to Participate

Recycle your ART and SoftFit-L pipette tips, tip boxes, and associated plastic packaging by following these steps.


Using the original cardboard shipping box:

  1. Line the box with the plastic bag
  2. Collect pipette tips, tip boxes,
    and plastic wrap in the shipping box


When the box is full:

  1. Close the plastic bag with the
    twist tie (provided)
  2. Remove any prior shipping
    labels from the box
  3. Complete the waiver form
    downloaded from the portal
    and place it in the box
  4. Close the box and securely
    tape the bottom and top


Ship for free:

  1. Add your address to the prepaid
    shipping label downloaded from the portal
  2. Affix the shipping label to the
    outside of the box
  3. Ship box via FedEx™ delivery service

Have questions about the pipette tip recycling program or have feedback to share?

Email the project team at and mention the 'pipette tip recycling program' in the subject line. 

Find answers, request services, or get help from our team at the UC San Diego Services & Support portal.