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»The paper pregnancy test project makes exclusive use of recycled paper. Plastic pregnancy tests are generally discarded after use, resulting in a negative CO2 footprint. The new product idea to come out of these material experiments is not only environmentally friendly but also softer and more pleasant to use.«

Nicole Losos (on behalf of Werner Aisslinger)

Three questions for Yue Zhao

How did the idea for the paper pregnancy test come about?
I was in a pharmacy and noticed that almost all of the existing pregnancy tests are made of plastic. Ordinarily, a pregnancy test will be thrown away just a few minutes after use. Later, when I was doing my own research, I became aware that this creates around 900 tonnes of plastic waste worldwide every year. So I asked myself if there was a more environmentally friendly material that could be used to fashion a pregnancy test. When researching materials, I discovered that it is possible to replace the plastics with recycled paper, which is when I began experimenting with this material.

What was your personal high point in the development process of the paper pregnancy test? Was there a low point?
The material experiments were the high and low points in one. I tried to make a recycled paper that was sufficiently tough for use as the casing and as product packaging. It took a few attempts before I had my first prototype. I also particularly enjoyed the information design. Here, I made sure that the test result was more clear and more user-friendly.

Where do you see your project in five years?
At this time, the paper pregnancy test remains a concept. I have visualised what a pregnancy test and packaging, both of recycled paper, looks like and how it can be used. A few questions remain to be clarified before I can actually bring it to market, among others relating to serial production, further material tests and moisture-proof packaging. To resolve these issues, I plan to work together with relevant manufacturers and companies. I hope that the paper pregnancy test can be manufactured and brought to market in the next few years.