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– Written by Morgane Sabatini – September 14, 2023

Eco-Flo: Morrama and Abingdon Health Unite for a more Sustainable Future

Lateral flow tests have gained significant attention during the COVID-19 pandemic, but their importance in diagnostics extends far beyond that. From pregnancy tests to plant health monitoring, these tests have been instrumental for decades. However, with the growing global concern for minimising the environmental impact of single-use products, it is time for lateral flow tests to undergo a transformation.

TDC client Morrama has recently teamed up with Abingdon Health to accelerate the development of a plastic-free lateral flow immunoassay. Together, they have formed Eco-Flo Innovations with the aim of introducing their first compostable cassette within the next 12 months.

The Call for Environmental Responsibility 

Considering that over two billion lateral flow immunoassays are manufactured annually, it is crucial to address the environmental impact of these tests. The lateral flow test market is projected to grow from $43 billion in 2022 to $72bn by 2024. With an estimated 25,000 tonnes of plastic produced globally for rapid testing each year, and an average test containing 10-15 grams of single-use virgin plastic, the need for sustainable alternatives is evident.

A Plastic-Free Cassette

The new plastic-free cassette will be manufactured in the UK, leveraging renewable plant fiber-moulding technology that reduces CO2 emissions by 80% compared to single-use plastic equivalents. The initial design aims to seamlessly replace traditional plastic cassettes, eliminating barriers for companies seeking to reduce the environmental impact of their assays. By adopting Eco-Flo cassettes, test kits can achieve a remarkable 62% reduction in plastic usage. Additionally, the Eco-Flo Innovations team is actively exploring ways to eliminate or substitute the remaining plastic components in tests that require swabs or pipettes.

Applications and Opportunities

The plastic-free lateral flow test cassette has a broad range of applications across various sectors, including healthcare, animal health, food and plant disease testing, and environmental testing. By embracing Eco-Flo Innovations, these industries can actively contribute to reducing plastic waste while maintaining the accuracy and reliability of lateral flow testing.

Through the joint efforts of Morrama and Abingdon Health, the landscape of lateral flow testing is undergoing a remarkable transformation. This partnership demonstrates a commitment to a sustainable future, where innovation and environmental responsibility go hand in hand.

For more information about this project please contact [email protected].