Recycling rapid tests

Covid-19 lateral flow tests can now be recycled into children’s chairs, outdoor furniture and more in a UK first

Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

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Published: 2 May 2021

This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod

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The Covid-19 pandemic has caused floods of new plastic waste, including disposable facemasks, gloves and visors.

With scientists predicting there are now more facemasks in the ocean than jellyfish, the problem is clearly out of control.

A new plastic waste issue

As test and trace efforts evolve, rapid testing is available twice weekly to the general public, presenting a whole new plastic waste issue.

As many as 384 million kits have been ordered by the UK government, all of which are currently going to landfill or being incinerated.

‘PPE recycling has been a focus for us over the past year, after seeing large amounts of discarded masks on the sides of the road and in the environment. 

With the government increasing the number of rapid tests available to the public, this poses a whole new plastic issue we wanted to tackle.’


Recycling tests

UK-based recycling business ReWorked is the first to offer a solution to this issue by providing innovative recycling processing for these lateral flow tests.

The service is available to schools, workplaces, individuals using large numbers of the tests considered non-clinical.


In a campaign hailed #ReclaimTheTest, ReWorked sells PPE recycling boxes which are designed to collect single-use facemasks, gloves, visors and now rapid tests.
Using innovative processing, the rapid tests and PPE waste collected by ReWorked will be pressed into 100% recycled plastic boards.

These boards are made into bins, children’s chairs, outdoor furniture and building materials.

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