Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Hoopsy

Paper pregnancy tests transform home healthcare

Health & Wellbeing

Could they replace the plastic alternatives that currently fill the shelves?

Spotted: In 2022, researchers recommended categorising medical plastic waste as hazardous because of its impact on the environment and encouraged the industry to begin focusing on finding environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic rather than recycling.

The recommendation includes home healthcare, and Australian company Hoopsy’s eco pregnancy test could help eliminate some of the millions of plastic pregnancy tests discarded each year. The company’s name comes from the Old Dutch word for hope – hoop – and plays on the imagery of the common phrase “jumping through hoops.” Lara Solomon, the company’s founder, created the Hoopsy pregnancy test after realising how many plastic versions she used when she was trying to become pregnant.

The test strips themselves are made from paper with a thin layer of plastic covering the results of the test. The tests come in cardboard containers, with the only plastic packaging being the pouch that’s used to hold the tests. This soft plastic can be recycled via supermarket flexible plastic film recycling schemes, and Hoopsy is working to move from 99 per cent plastic-free to 100 per cent plastic-free as quickly as possible.

Hoopsy midstream tests are used in the same way as traditional plastic tests and are 99 per cent accurate, which is also the same as the other tests on the market. In the UK, the tests passed the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approvals process and are available via retail locations and online. Hoopsy also ships worldwide. Because pregnancy tests are designated a medical device in Australia, Hoopsy introduced its tests in the UK first, with plans to achieve the necessary approvals in Australia sometime in 2024.

From pregnancy tests conducted via smart toilets to a social network for women trying to conceive, innovations in family planning are helping parents-to-be find the most sustainable options for their family and situation.

Written By: Keely Khoury



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