CLASS OF 2019: DMU Product Design student's reusable hospital syringe could be a 'game changer' in reducing plastic waste

A reusable syringe system for administering hospital injections has earned high praise for a De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) Product Design student, with competition judges saying his innovation could be a ‘game changer’ if put into production.


The headline sponsors of the annual Design Innovation in Plastics (DIP) competition, Covestro, were so impressed with Chris Kay’s EnviroJect product that they have invited him to visit them at their global HQ in Germany.

EnviroJect was designed with the aim of substantially reducing plastic syringe waste. It is reusable up to 100 times and the syringe itself can also be recycled back into the manufacturing process. The kit comes with a steriliser which ensures the syringe remains bacteria-free.

Chris, originally from the Isle of Man, has worked out that if EnviroJect was adopted by the NHS it would save 1,069 tonnes of plastic waste.

He has just completed his fourth year in Product Design, graduates from DMU next week and has already secured a job, which starts in September.

Chris will be working as a design engineer with Strix Technology, a company which creates innovative parts for kettle manufacturers such as DeLonghi, Kenwood, Tefal, Morphy Richards and Electrolux.

He said: “I am ecstatic that the judges felt that way. It is great to have recognition for your work at that level. It will be very hard for me to get something like this into production and I understand it will take a lot of investment and possibly five to 10 years of work. But it has been so enjoyable being part of the competition.


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“I have a keen interest in working within the medical design sector, which is why I aimed to develop a medical product during my final year of studies. 

“I’m sure there will be opportunities throughout my future career as a result of the recognition that the DIP award has given me.” 

Technical engineer, Mike Stuart, formerly of Covestro, said: “If this project went into production it could be a real game changer when it comes to reducing plastic waste for single-use syringes.

“The investment involved in getting it up and running along with any potential changes in systems to accommodate it would need to be overcome, but Chris acknowledges this.”

DIP is the longest running student design competition of its type – inviting university students to produce a new product made primarily of plastics, while taking into account sustainability and recyclability.

Competition organisers, the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and the Worshipful Company of Horners, set the brief this year of ‘healthy body – healthy world’, inviting ideas for improving health, wellbeing or encouraging exercise, with a product which could demonstrate longevity and sustainability.

Christopher was among five finalists out of an original field of 149 entries from all over the UK and Ireland. He came third and will receive a cash prize and short work placement with one of the competition sponsors.

He was also given special recognition for his innovation by Covestro which has led to his invite to their German HQ.

In a successful competition for DMU, Louis Farnsworth was highly commended in the DIP competition with his breathing aid to help asthmatics when exercising.

The results were announced at an awards ceremony at Painters’ Hall, London, last week.

Posted on Wednesday 10 July 2019

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