Wellness

Awesome paper pregnancy tests cut plastic waste & help vulnerable women

By Kitty Knowles 31 January 2018
Summary

We’ve even seen paper pregnancy tests in magazines.

Over 5 million women have babies in Europe each year.

If even half of these women bought a pregnancy test (which weighs around 9 grams), that’s around 22.5 tonnes of plastic that ends up in the bathroom bin – or down the loo.

The reality is that many more women will have bought and used pregnancy tests who don’t go on to give birth. And that’s before we start to think about the packaging that kits come in.

Now though, it looks like plastic pregnancy tests are to become a thing of the past.

That’s because paper kits are on their way to women – sometimes even in magazines.

Paper pregnancy tests

Lia is the world’s first flushable, biodegradable and compostable pregnancy test.

It’s made of the same natural plant fibres as toilet paper, and is packaged in recyclable materials, making the whole product kind to the environment.

But these green tests aren’t just good for the planet, they’re empowering all women by offering them much-needed privacy, including those in abusive relationships.

That’s because Lia’s tests can be flushed down any loo.

“We spoke to women who said they’d wrapped used tests in tin foil and hidden them after using them in public toilets,” it’s creators told HuffPost UK.

“Before long, our project became about how we can provide a more private and sustainable test.”

Lia will be available in the US from 2018 and has additional clearances to start selling in Europe in early 2019.  

The kits will cost a similar price to traditional tests – between £6 and £14 (brands in Boots range from £4-£14), and Lia customers can also opt to donate funds to a number of planned parenthood organisations.

Huge potential

Lia isn’t the only brand making waves on the scene. Earlier this year we saw Ikea put pregnancy test technology onto the pages of a magazine.

Readers of Amelia magazine, one of Sweden’s most influential magazines for women, were invited to pee on a crib advert which would reveal a special discount to those who were pregnant.

Given that pregnancy tests are still relatively expensive, and that getting to a doctor for a free test can be difficult for many women, imagine how accessible paper pregnancy tests could be.

Clinics could include them in leaflets or teen magazines, or subtly send them by post.

Are you ready to pee on paper?