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P, pee, and Peepoo

May 30, 2010

Reading an article in The Economist about water contamination, I came upon a description of a promising, low-tech approach to human sanitation that addresses not only water issues but also P scarcity.  This arises from the crucial and cruel fact that many millions of people, and especially children, suffer from contaminated water supplies because they do not have access to modern systems of sanitation.  Indeed, 40% of the human population lack access even to a latrine.

The techology is the “Peepoo”, described by its developers as a “personal, single-use toilet” (link).  Simply put, it is a biodegradable, sealable, self-sanitizing bag that people can use as needed, seal, and then dispose of.   The developers make some compelling arguments that, because of its low cost, the Peepoo technology can empower people to maintain a clean environment around them, to protect themselves and loved ones from disease, and to produce “a local resource instead of a contaminant”.  This latter aspect is part of the “new alchemy” we need to solve the P sustainability issue.  As noted on the Peepoo web site: “Since fertilizers are an expensive and scarce commodity in developing countries, it is possible for simple economic systems to develop informally through the collection and distribution of used Peepoos.”

I’d love to hear from anyone out there who knows if and how Peepoo use is taking hold anywhere.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 18, 2010 12:36 am

    The link to the Peepoo site is incorrect. It is: http://www.peepoople.com/

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