The idea of the project was born within a previous project group investigating new biobased value chains. The team received in an interview with procurement officers at the County Council in Värmland (LiV) that the Västra Götaland region (VGR) and LiV together use more than 200,000 hazardous waste containers annually. Finding a bio-based counterpart attracted innovators and OrganoClick was contacted.
When the project started, the requirements list was long. For safety reasons, there were clear product requirements to consider when the project was planned. Hazardous waste containers were required to maintain moisture, the material would be hard enough so that needles could not pass through, the container must be sealed in a controlled manner and it must be available in many different sizes. Production costs must also be in line with current market prices.
"The project has been implemented in collaboration between a number of actors in different parts of the possible value chain and users' needs and requirements have guided the development. All actors have contributed with their unique skills and experience, and through collaboration we gained the knowledge about the product, user needs, and the way forward, "says Niklas and Anna at Nina Innovation.
Now 18 months later, the project group has developed three small scale prototypes. Two demonstrate how the finished product could look in full scale, the third prototype has been developed in the biocomposite material OrganoComp® to give a sense of how the material will work in an full scale container. After evaluation in focus groups, the design of the product has been developed. Among other things, the degree of packing has been improved, solutions for sealing and staining has been developed and the material OrganoComp® has been optimized and gone through formal performance tests for risk waste containers.
"The product design and the OrganoComp®-material has good commercial capacity in terms of function, price points and can reduce the CO2-emissions with more than 80 %. We at OrganoClick estimate that a finished product will be able to meet all the requirements of users and we see great opportunities to gain market share in Sweden and within the EU, "says Mårten Hellberg.
To fully test the product in its proper environment, a certification is required.
"We have collected views from focus groups and conducted tests on the material and a prototype in 3D printed plastic. We see a great interest from both users within the healthcare system and the companies taking care of the risk waste.”, Mårten concludes.