What if medical testing was plastic free?

Project team
Olive Kennington, Ben Melvin, Léa Berger, Jo Barnard, Andy Trewin Hutt, Jasdeep Kular
Project type
Morrama venture

With over 900 million Covid-19 tests discarded in the US alone, we need to take responsibility for the plastic waste we are creating.

Plastic has been at the front line of the pandemic – face masks, lateral flow tests, and sanitizer bottles. With new COVID-19 variants constantly evolving, active testing has been and will remain to be an important part of living with COVID-19.

At Morrama, we have been reflecting on the pandemic and the enormous amount of single use plastic being used through self- testing alone. With every lateral flow test that is used 10g of plastic is disposed of after use, with a lack of infrastructure to support the recycling of these materials. Self testing lateral flow tests were being used worldwide by early 2021 and, as of March 2022,  America alone had used an estimated 835.9 million tests. This illustrates the scale of plastic destined for landfill from the testing process and the lack of infrastructure to support material processing after the test has been used.

At Morrama, we were inspired to create a test kit that doesn’t contribute to the amount of plastic ending up in our landfills, so ECO-FLO was born.

The Concept

ECO-FLO is a non-invasive test for COVID-19 that aims to make the testing process easier by eliminating the need for a nasal swab. The test has been designed to incorporate Morrama’s approach to sustainability and user experience, with a particular focus on accessibility.

Currently, the two mainstream methods of testing offered by the NHS for COVID-19 are lateral flow tests and PCR tests - both of which involve a nasal swab. The use of a nasal swab is an invasive test method that requires accuracy in order to insert the nasal swab correctly up the nasal passage and then into the test tube. Using a nasal swab can be painful and is challenging for those with disabilities or impairments or when testing children.

ECO-FLO incorporates new developments in saliva testing. Using a Parallel Amplified Saliva rapid Point-of-care Test (Pasport testing) allows silva to be collected and used within the test without the requirement for a buffer solution. Currently in trial stage and initial results show the testing method has an accuracy of 97% [lab condition PCR tests are 99.5% accurate]. We see this breakthrough method as the best way to carry out accurate, non-invasive and more accessible COVID-19 testing.


The test kit has been simplified down to four parts (Test kit, Test strip, absorbent pad and a sachet). By removing the need for the plastic outer housing of the test, the swab, the buffer capsule and the mixing tube, we’ve cut out multiple pieces of single-use plastic.

Consideration for materials has been driven by end-of-life. The test would be produced from FSC certified recyclable cellulose pulp and packaged in a sealed biodegradable Nature Flex film sachet. This results in a test kit that can break down within 4-6 weeks in landfill.

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Eased user navigation

With step by step instructions printed directly onto the test, the user is guided on how to use it without the need for a separate leaflet. Additional details can be provided through a QR code if required.

Activation of the test

A focus towards creating an improved user experience led to conversation around the test having an action to ‘activate’ the test. The incorporated push button functionality signals the start of the 15 minute countdown until the results are ready. The button function also ensures all of the saliva sample is transferred and able to be wicked onto the absorbent pad part of the test strip.

Reading the results

There was deliberation surrounding how to improve the user experience around reading the results. It is apparent that the current display of results has not been considered for an at-home user. By removing the scientific notations of using S for Sample, T for Test and C for Control and presenting the results in a comparable tick box style meant that it was clearer for the user to read the result and understand the test without having to refer to an instruction booklet. Additionally, increasing the thickness of the test line helps to more easily identify the result, particularly for the visually impaired.

Implementing ECO-FLO Pasport Testing

Existing lateral flow tests were a reaction to the threat of the pandemic and were rolled at-speed to enable at-home testing COVID-19 testing. As a result, there was less emphasis placed on the interaction and ease of use of the test and no consideration for the impact the tests have on the environment in either production or disposal. Now we have an opportunity to correct these mistakes. Projecting forward to future pandemics, Eco-flo presents a simpler, more accessible and more sustainable option to aid in helping to keep people safe through instantaneous mass testing, designed with people and the planet in mind.

We are currently raising funding for the continued development of ECO-FLO. If you are interested in finding out more, please reach out to us at

Design rights property of Morrama. Patent pending.

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