Jan 19, 2023 by Plastika Skaza

Recycling of rapid antigen LFIA tests

LFIA-REC

Plastika Skaza, with a consortium of partners within the framework of the Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Program, which is supported by the Government Service for Development and European Cohesion Policy, is implementing a project with which we want to reduce the introduction of new materials and encourage the use of recycled materials from demanding and potentially hazardous waste. such as rapid diagnostic tests (medical devices).

Together with the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Maribor, the Faculty of Polymer Technology from Slovenj Gradac, the Institute for Metal Materials and Technologies from Ljubljana, Zlatarna Celje, the University Clinical Center Maribor and the company Surovina, we are developing a sustainable solution for the recycling of rapid antigen LFIA tests, with which we will waste plastics breathed new life.

With this responsible measure, we are responding to the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected the entire world in recent years. Many tests of people for the virus have left behind huge amounts of waste. Among them are also rapid tests that work on the basis of nanogold. Discarded rapid tests are now incinerated or landfilled. The consequences, however, are frightening. When burning one million rapid tests, 0.1 gram of gold and 5,000 kg of plastic, worth €15,000, are thrown away. As the scale of the global economy increases, so do the environmental pressures, which will exceed the capacity of our planet. As a result, waste must not remain waste, but must be a raw material in another sector.

As part of the project, in the first phase, we will collect rapid tests and sterilize them accordingly. We will then grind them and separate the membranes with nanogold from the plastic casings using separation procedures. Through further research and activities, we will obtain raw materials that will be used for new plastic and gold products. With the proposed solution, we promote the concept of circular economy.

The world needs sustainably-oriented companies that realize that there are no winners in doing business according to the principles of the circular economy. But it is a vision in which the whole world must be drawn if we want to keep our planet habitable. That's why we look forward to working with a consortium of partners, where we can contribute knowledge to the development of sustainable solutions and plastic products and deepen our 45 years of experience in sustainable business.

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