April 2, 2010

‘PeePoo’ Converts Waste To Fertilizer

A new single-use biodegradable plastic bag that functions as a single-use toilet can be used in underprivileged countries to grow crops, according to a recent New York Times report.

The Peepoo, which was developed in 2005 by Swedish entrepreneur and professor Anders Wilhelmson, can be used for waste elimination, tied off and then buried. Then, thanks to a special layer of urea crystals, disease-causing pathogens in the waste will be eliminated and the feces converted into usable fertilizer--a far more sanitary option than using a normal plastic bag or simply burying excrement.

"Not only is it sanitary, [but] they can reuse this to grow crops," Wilhelmson told the Times on March 1, adding that he planned to sell the environmentally safe device to the approximately 2.6 billion people who currently do not have access to toilet facilities at a cost of 2 to 3 cents each. "People will say, 'It's valuable to me, but well priced.'"

According to the Peepoo official website, the bag is 14-by-38 centimeters in size and contains a thin layer of gauze as well as the urea coating. Each Peepoo is single use, can be used for either urination or defecation, and is designed so that the user does not have to touch or come in contact with the waste. The bag reportedly remains odor-free for 24-hours after use and requires no water to operate.

Furthermore, the Peepoo is biodegradable and manufactured using 45-percent renewable material. Upon breaking down, it turns into carbon dioxide, water, and bio-mass, according to the website. Once the pathogens in the waste content have been killed, the feces them becomes a nitrogen-based fertilizer safe for use on crops in developing countries.


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