If you have been trying to cut down on plastic waste, there is one essential item that may have slipped under the radar: the humble pregnancy test. Think about it. You use them once and throw them away. Hell, you may even use more than one, just to be sure.
Currently pregnancy tests are made mainly of plastic, but Lia is here to change things.
As the world’s first flushable, biodegradable and compostable pregnancy test, Lia could help address the environmental impact of yet another single-use plastic. And in addition to its green credentials, the product’s disposable nature means it could also provide women with more privacy, should they need it.
Made from the same natural plant fibres as toilet paper, Lia will break down faster than organic cotton after being used and flushed.
This means that, unlike other pregnancy tests, it won’t contribute to the 8 million tons of plastic being dumped in our oceans annually.
“The test can be used, function and produce results, before then breaking down very quickly in water, soil or compost,” Bethany and Anna told HuffPost UK.
“It has created a circular mentality to this kind of technology, in the sense that it is created from nature but also broken down into nature.”
The test’s packaging is also recyclable and sustainably sourced, and Bethany and Anna are currently working on a flushable packaging option.
After doing their research, Bethany and Anna were shocked at the lengths women went to to hide their pregnancy tests.
“We spoke to women who said they’d wrapped used tests in tin foil and hidden them after using them in public toilets,” they told HuffPost UK. “Before long, our project became about how we can provide a more private and sustainable test.”
Now that a pregnancy test can be flushed away with no drama, Bethany and Anna believe that Lia gives ladies an eco-friendly, empowering alternative. “Ultimately, we feel like Lia should encourage women to take a more active approach to testing and privacy,” they told HuffPost UK.
Bethany and Anna hope that Lia will signify a turning point in how plastics are incorporated into manufacturing new products.
“We are really excited. We knew that everything in the test had to be made from a mineral, plant or protein solution to create a product that was engineered to be built up and then broken down again. Now, we’ve shown it can be done.”
Bethany and Anna have a huge vision for Lia, and are hoping to expand into more women-led products, making them as sustainable as possible as they do so.
The test will be available in the US from 2018 and has additional clearances for Europe in early 2019.