Deciding What Is Best for Your Laboratory: Glassware or Plasticware?


Selecting laboratory gear may be a difficult undertaking in and of itself, especially if you are unfamiliar with the many options available.

When laboratory plasticware comes to choosing labware, one of the most common questions is whether to go with glass or plastic. The elements that influence your choice of laboratory ware materials are discussed in this article.

Materials Made of Plastic

The creation of container materials that suit the criteria of handling various laboratory chemicals has been aided by advances in polymeric material research. Plastic materials have made the large-scale automation and material handling capabilities of laboratory samples more convenient.

Plastic laboratory ware has not rendered glassware obsolete, but it has expanded the range of possibilities accessible to laboratory chemists.

Plastic Ware’s Benefits

The following are some of the key advantages of using laboratory plasticware:

  • It is non-breakable and has some flexibility.
  • Plasticware is often light in weight, making equipment like huge desiccators or graduated cylinders, for example, easy to handle.
  • Plastic containers are favored in trace metal research because they do not leak inorganic species. Plastic containers, on the other hand, are not suited for use with most organic solvents.
  • Plastic vials and tiny pipette tips are commonly regarded as disposable. Plastics are non-biodegradable and add to the environmental load, hence they should be reused wherever feasible after adequate cleaning. If this isn’t feasible, dispose of the items according to the rules. Reuse can also help you save money on recurrent expenses.
  • When compared to glass, plastic objects are frequently less costly.

How to decide between Glassware and Plasticware?
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The analytical needs should be considered when choosing appropriate lab gear. Although plastic labware has various advantages, glass labware is required for some purposes. Knowledge of the qualities of several accessible plastic materials for laboratory usage can aid you in picking between your selections.

Laboratory plasticware is commonly used in start-up and classroom laboratories. It contributes to the safety of naïve personnel in the workplace. Even in these circumstances, however, glassware has some advantages. So, all you have to do now is look at your specific use case and evaluate which of the two options best matches it. This is the only way to locate the most appropriate laboratory equipment.

Remember, regardless of the labware you pick from glassware or plasticware, it must be of great quality. Otherwise, the labware will be of little value to you because it will not adequately answer your problem. As a result, finding excellent quality glasses or plastic goods is critical.


Plasticware may be the best option for new laboratories and classrooms since it is more cost-effective and provides a safer lab environment. If you operate in a chemistry lab, however, glassware can give better chemical resistance when acidic and alkaline solutions are utilized. Glassware will also provide the best level of resistance and hold up to any severe temperatures when utilizing equipment such as a hotplate and stirrers. Finally, think about the advantages and disadvantages of each in terms of your lab application. You’ll get the best of both worlds if your budget permits you to stock up on both glass and plastic lab materials.
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