An industrial design studio based in London, United Kingdom, has proposed a rapid Covid-19 test that is biodegradable, recyclable, simple, and intuitive that could prevent tons of single-use plastic to end up in landfills.
“The idea of making the test strip a bit bigger would allow visible marks to be clearer, and by putting it in a little window, you know where you’re looking,” says Jo Barnard, the founder and creative director of the studio Morrama. “We can’t save people’s lives and simultaneously affect them later [on] with global warming. We know these kinds of things happen, so let’s be prepared for them next time, so we can just roll it out.”
Made from recyclable paper pulp, the Eco-Flo would use PASPORT, saliva-based testing already known for detecting the Omicron variant much better than nose swabs. Each test would be made from a single piece of molded paper that flips open like a mini-book – and would come in a biodegradable sachet. Once open, the idea would be to spit into a saliva dish, close the kit and press it for the saliva to be absorbed by a pad. No more than 15 minutes later, results would be should in a bright red color. Once the PASPORT technology is available at the end of 2022, a prototype will be produced. Existing manufacturers need to think about solutions that won’t aggravate the environment since each COVID-19 rapid test results in 10 grams of single-use plastic waste.