Over the weekend, 2 layers of plastic bags with its front labeled in jungle green caught my attention when I read it on a Swedish design website. Initially, I thought they were plastic bags designed to collect dog poo in public areas. To my surprise, the plastic bag is actually a plastic “toilet” for slum dwellers who lives without proper sanitation. Created by Anders Wilhelmson, an architect and professor in Stockholm, this product is called Peepoo. (http://www.peepoo.com)
It is a biodegradable plastic that serves as a one-time-use toilet. Once used, the bag can be knotted and buried. The bag contains thin layer of urea which helps breakdown urine and kills off disease-producing pathogens found in feces, which eventually turns into fertilizer.
About 2.6 billion people on the planet do not have access to proper toilets. It poses serious health issues as human faeces contains infectious and lethal pathogens, thus causing diseases such as cholera and diarrheal. An estimated 1.5 million children worldwide die yearly from diarrheal diseases .
Instead of distributing the bags freely, Peepoo bags are sold at a subsidized price to end-consumers in slums. Users can either keep the waste as fertilizers or dropped at a collection point for a reimbursement.
Peepoo is currently used in Kibera, Kenya. This project has also created job opportunities. Now, there are collection services available as people are making a living by collecting the used Peepoo bags , which they then pocket for reimbursement fees.
However, majority are still questioning themselves about Peepoo; Is the organization looking for donations from the public? Can people in the slums afford it ? All the answers to your queries can be found here on their website. (http://www.peepoople.com/information/faq/)
Peepoo is not only an innovative product but it has so many benefits.
Help us build more awareness about this wonderful project by spreading the news and sharing this article. I believe more are to come from Peepoo!
Text by: Paul Khor
*Images courtesy of Peepoo
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