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A world-first circular plastic consumables supply chain for research and healthcare systems

Clinical problem

Disposable plastics have become ubiquitous in research and healthcare, especially for consumables (e.g. syringes, test tubes) that require sterility. Without a specialised recycling service, an enormous amount of laboratory and clinical plastic waste is currently landfilled or incinerated. This linear economy has imposed environmental burdens, and the value of these exceptionally high-grade plastics is lost from the supply chain. Over 5.5m tonnes of plastic waste are produced annually by the global healthcare and research sector, which is equivalent to the UK’s annual household plastic waste (Urbina, M.A., 2015).

Market 1: The research and healthcare waste management market (including NHS and private/public research labs). UK market size is £1.1bn/CAGR 5.1%, with 300+ customers (Global-Data-Explorer-2021). Global market is expected to reach £18.56bn in 2026 at CAGR 5% (TBRC-Business-Research-Pvt-Ltd-2022).

Market2: Lab/healthcare consumable manufacturing. UK market is £6.3bn at CAGR7.5%, and the global market is expected to reach £45.6bn by 2027 at CAGR 7.5% (UK-Medical-Equipment-Market-Report-2021).

About LabCycle

LabCycle is establishing the circular economy for single-use plastic waste from the research and healthcare sectors. The company offers an automated decontamination system for the safe recycling of this plastic waste, producing lab/medical-grade consumables made from high-grade recycled plastics. Our final product will be the world’s first lab/medical-grade consumables made from recycled consumables.

Competition analysis/USPs:

99% of plastic waste from the research and healthcare systems is currently landfilled/incinerated because mainstream waste management companies do not have the know-how/scalable recycling technologies. Driven by ESG credentials from their customers (R&D labs and healthcare providers), waste management companies are seeking recycling solutions. LabCycle provides the solution to create the first high-grade recycled plastic supply chain.

Benefits to service users:

  • Financial savings in waste management.
  • Significant reduction in carbon emission.


  • Pilot with the University of Bath
  • SBRI Healthcare Phase 1 pilot with NHS Blood and Transplant
  • Innovate UK Fast Start Grant
  • Pre-seed investment round raised at the end of 2022
  • Dosage cups from 100% recycled polystyrene
  • SME Innovation Voucher for Life-Cycle Analysis
  • 40+ interests from private and public organisations

Date Published

April 2023


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