POET Joins with Cytiva in recycling program launch

By POET | October 20, 2021

POET, the world’s largest producer of biofuels, has launched a sustainability program with Cytiva, a global life sciences leader, focused around recycling difficult to recycle lab materials.

Cytiva, working with TerraCycle to create this initiative, will recycle the plastic in syringe filters used by POET to prepare fermentation samples. One filter is used per sample and each POET bioprocessing facility conducts hundreds of samples each week. Prior to Cytiva’s initiative, the plastic filters could not be recycled because of the nonhazardous biomass trapped inside. Cytiva and TerraCycle created a program that allows these filters to be recycled, reducing the amount of plastic waste created.

“Sustainability is an important business imperative for Cytiva and we believe this program will inspire others in the life sciences industry to follow suit,” said Dan McElroy, Product Manager at Cytiva. “When manufacturers, customers and recyclers join forces everybody wins.”

POET Biorefining – Caro is one of three plants that participated in a trial run of the program. Nicholas Bauerschmidt, a Quality Manager at the Caro bioprocessing facility, oversaw the trial run of the program and gave feedback for its improvement.

“Sustainable practices, like recycling, are really important at all of POET’s facilities,” said Bauerschmidt. “Because of the unique nature of our filters, we’ve been unable to recycle them in the past. We’re grateful for Cytiva’s program that allows us to further decrease our environmental footprint and repurpose a product that would have otherwise ended up in the landfill. It goes to the heart of our mission to be good stewards of the environment.”

POET strives to continually develop new ways to increase sustainability at all bioprocessing facilities. Team members, like Bauerschmidt, are encouraged to find new, innovative ways to make processes and projects streamlined and as efficient as possible.

“Clean energy and renewable practices are some of POET’s top priorities,” said Emily Boynton, General Manager at POET Bioprocessing – Caro. “We work to foster an environment where our team members can innovate and bring new ideas to the table. The syringe filter recycling program is a great example of the POET team taking the initiative to make our workplace, our communities and our world a greener place.”