• http://naturavexata.blogspot.com Al

    I’m not sure how this is supposed to work in the context in which they are meant, as well as the costs of supplying ‘peepoo’ bags for every pee and poo that everyone takes, and people’s willingness to use them as well.

    • http://greenupgrader.com Matt Embrey

      People are already using plastic bags out of necessity. Probably not in rural areas but in urban settings there’s no where to go and do you business and at night people don’t want to leave the house so pooping in a bag seems like a good idea. Unfortunately plain plastic bags don’t sanitize the waste like the Peepoo bags.

      • Tom Mehrens

        Nor are they biodegradable.

        • Racktip Oddling

          The article states:

          “The Peepoo bags are biodegradable (currently made from 45% renewable materials but they aim to up that to 100%), and when the bags degrade in the soil, the ammonia byproduct acts as a harmless fertiliser taken up by the plants. So not only does the Peepoo bag help them get rid of hazardous waste, it provides a valuable agricultural resource.”

          Are you aware of issues the article passes over in silence?

          • boop

            I think she was referring to traditional plastic bags, not these.

  • http://Website(optional) JP

    How are you supposed to wipe? Use the gauze and stuff it in the green bag with the rest of the mess?

    • Tom Mehrens

      If you’re in the bush you use a leaf (other than something like poison ivy) or you can use the old tried and true method of the left hand. (Haven’t you ever heard of the convention fro many societies that you only eat with your right hand?)

      • Merc

        The “left hand” method still requires water… though a basin with some water isn’t much of a waste to toss into the grass.

    • mark

      The same way people have been doing it for thousands of years. Left hand for wiping, right hand for eating.

  • LennyNero

    These people have got to be kidding me. All we need is a new garbage supply of poop filled plastic bags. Have these people ever heard of a dugout latrine and some lime? If not, someone should teach them some field expedient sanitation techniques. This is not rocket science people. Poop goes in hole lime goes in hole pathogens die end of story.

    This is just another ridiculous idea from stupid hippies trying to make themselves feel good by pretending that shipping containers worth of poopbags to people in Africa will magically make them learn basic hygiene rather than TEACHING THEM to stop crapping in their drinking water.

    • http://greenupgrader.com Matt Embrey

      If you read the article you would have read that they don’t build up in the trash, they convert to fertilizer and biodegrade. Much better option than lye and much more suitable for urban living than digging a whole.

      • bill

        He said lime, not lye, genius.

      • joe

        I think you mean hole.

    • jbl

      thank you

    • Somebody

      you’re kind of missing the point Lenny, the whole point of these bags is that they are biodegradable and enhance the degradation of the wast material, in other words they do not just a “poop fillled plastic bag,” also I’m pretty sure you’re just trolling with your “basic hygeine” comment. Also, I agree with Matt in that this does seem alot more better than lye.

      • john

        No, he’s not. A hole (not a whole) is biodegradable. In fact, it degrades as you use it … it gets filled in. Lime is universally available, and infinitely cheaper then recycled plastic bags. These magic fancy plastic bags are no more effective then a little shovel of lime. And yes, I’ve been to kenya.

    • Jon


    • Shane

      Righto Lenny. This is green guilt relief at its best. This will never work. Better field sanitation is the way and infrastructure development in dense populated areas. I’m in Africa now and I see this kind of crap everywhere. Someones pet feel good project looks good on paper but is a poor fit deployed to the target audience. African people for the most part don’t understand basic sanitation, biological contamination and much of the population still beleives that sickness comes from demons and bad spirits.

      I have seen them dig latrines at schools less than 25ft away from the well they drink from.

      There needs to be a slogan campaign for “Think before you Green”

    • r

      the next time you have an extreme urge to use the bathroom, think about the time you would have had to spend digging a sufficient hole to pee in. could you really hold for that long? wouldn’t you think to yourself, “just this once I’ll pee without digging a hole”?
      and i’ll sound like a pretentious asshole for saying this, because i certainly have no right to pretend to know what life in Africa is like, but if i had open access to lime, and no food everyday, i would eat the lime in a heartbeat.
      while i agree with you that teaching the locals about better field sanitation should be the true and ultimate goal, before they learn to break their old habits, we should give them these bags as an option. old habits die hard, “weening” them off peeing freely on land is slightly better.

      • shinji

        the lime he’s referring to isn’t the food. it’s calcium oxide, a base chemical. Which is not edible as far as I know. There’s more than one meaning to the term lime. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcium_oxide though it would have been more obvious if he had used the term quicklime or something like that for it.

  • Stanton

    This is a great idea. Most people don’t understand the situation in the areas that this bag is targeting. They don’t worry about wiping because it is nothing compared to starvation or lack of water. Just imagine, if the only water you had available always came in the color brown. This bag would reduce the pollution of that water and decrease the amount of people who die from in taking unsanitary water.

    And guess what, if they can’t afford a place to poop and clean water, should we expect them to fork out money for lime? And how many holes can you dig? They don’t have infinite land space for digging holes so everybody can crap in them. It works when you go camping because the population is extremely thin, but it doesn’t work if there is over population. The bags will allow for the easy, or easier transport of waste to areas where fertilizer is welcome.

    The only question is the price of these bags.

    • poo girl

      Stanton, I agree with you!

  • Jack

    I thin LennyNero raised a good point. Why aren’t they using latrines now? Is there any reason or do they just not know how? If they don’t know teaching them how to dig and use latrines seems like the better option.

    At the end of the day this bag thing is going to require all kinds of money to keep in supply in any reasonable amount. We’ve already got humanitarian aid all over africa. Why aren’t they teaching these people to build latrines?

    Also, as Matt Embry alluded to in his comment, if they do have latrines and the bags are just a matter of convenience then tough shit for them. Pun not intended.

    I’m not trying to be coldhearted here. Having to walk down the street to use the restroom at three in the morning would suck, but if they would rather throw their shit out the window and give everyone dysentery then suffer some inconvenience then I’m not inclined to help them out.

    • yolanda

      They often are using latrines, and in mere days the cesspool beneath the boards is deep enough to drown a man. The waste leaks into the ground water or the latrine is built on marginal land which is too wet to build a shanty upon. Then some creep bully stands at the entrance demanding pay for entry. If you don’t have the pay you just go somewhere else. We’re talking about millions of people crammed into the space our western cities use for landfills. Ever been to an outdoor concert and seen how fast those outhouses fill up? So if that’s every single day for years and nobody can afford to hire a company to come suck out the latrine, what makes you think they can just dig another? Besides, who digs it? Watch slumdog millionaire, there’s a good scene in it showing the sort of latrines a slum enjoys.

      • poo girl

        Wow, Yolanda, very good point about the extortionists charging for access to the outhouse! Yolanda, you have brought up a LOT of excellent points here!

    • http://greenupgrader.com Matt Embrey

      Jack, I believe this is targeted primarily towards Urban Areas where you can just go outside and dig a hole. Furthermore as Yolanda points out, latrines are not always a sufficient solutions and they contribute to ground water contamination.

      These people are not idiot, they are impoverished, and again as Yolanda pointed out it is hard for people to imagine the conditions they live in. It’s easy to say “Suck it up” but thats not a practical solution. This bag is.

    • Concerned

      Jack, Jack, Jack. You need to check your ego, man. Do you really think people don’t know how to dig a hole to shit in? These people are not animals, they are humans. They think, just like you. They don’t need you to teach them how to shit in a hole. If you knew anything about the situations these people are thrown into, you wouldn’t tell them “tough shit.” They have real problems that need real solutions. They look to us for help because we have money and resources. They don’t. Next time, think before you speak, jack (ass).

      • Agreed

        THANK YOU!

      • http://greenupgrader.com Matt Embrey

        I couldn’t have put it better myself… and I tried. Well said!

      • poo girl

        Dear Concerned, you ROCK!

      • Jack

        I am Jack’s deflated ego.

    • Liberal SoB

      Yes, a lot of place are using “local” areas for this, but have you seen an open latrine? It is one of worst smelling and most unsanitary place in the world.

      These bags provide more then a mere cover up. Lime neutralized the smell and that is why mass bare body graves are covered in it before buried.

      These can be buried in mass, and cause minimal impact to the ecosystem.

      I love it when the conservatives call meaningful attempts to go green some hippie conspiracy. Next he will say cake is a lie.

    • poo girl

      Please read what Stanton said.

      • p

        I meant “Please read what Stanton said” for Jack.

  • Kendrak

    This is a good idea, however, plastic takes a number of years to biodegrade. They should be using paper bags that have a urea/plastic lining OR they should be using latrines. This is no easy problem to solve. However, adding more plastic/trash build up to the environment definitely isn’t going to help. The waste may degrade in a few hours-a few weeks but plastic takes a number of year to biodegrade. For the number of people that poo and pea every day/ the number of times that they do it, this just is not a sustainable option.

    • Jen

      Come on! Did you even read the article?

      “The Peepoo bags are biodegradable (currently made from 45% renewable materials but they aim to up that to 100%), and when the bags degrade in the soil, the ammonia byproduct acts as a harmless fertiliser taken up by the plants. So not only does the Peepoo bag help them get rid of hazardous waste, it provides a valuable agricultural resource.”

      • anonymous

        Yeah, and guess what? Things don’t biodegrade in a few days. Things take years to biodegrade.
        Also, I find it rather funny that so many people are having such fierce debates over an effing plastic bag to take a shit in.
        Though, I’m having some fun with this. How many “uses” does this bag hold? Let’s just say that it holds two uses, just for good measure. Say the average person goes to the bathroom twice a day. So, that’s one bag per day. You’re supposed to be able to just toss these out the window, correct? So, in a couple of months, are you just gonna have a mountain of shit loaded bags sitting outside your house? Even the bags have to go somewhere. Note my earlier comment that things take years to biodegrade. With that said, the bags aren’t just going to dissolve in a couple of weeks.
        How do we solve THAT problem?

  • Kevin

    I can see three additional issues here.

    1. Latrine – Digging in most cities of the world is not possible for a variety of reasons, such as no space, concrete, etc.

    2. Lime – What is the cost and availability of lime in a slum area?

    3. Safety – I’m guessing that going out at night in a slum is a live endangering act.

  • Tom Mehrens

    Actually, I think it’s a good idea. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been driving and looking for someplace to whizz. Having one of these pee-poo bags would keep the roadsides a lot more sanitary. And this does not even consider the possibility of having these available in sporting goods stores for hunters and other outdoors men (and women).

  • me

    Totally photsshopped

  • That other person

    This isn’t something that is supposed to be picked up by the general public right away. This is an idea that can and will help the environment if everyone acts on it. I’m pretty sure you would wipe and put the waste in the bag along with the pee an poo. I think this a wonderful idea and I would be willing to use this “wonder bag.” This idea could be the turning point of how we take care of our environment with out having to do a lot. Personally, i think everyone wants to take care of the world, but in today;s society we do not want to work to hard to do so. This is quick and easy way to do our part in keeping our planet earth clean.

  • Gern

    If they’re dying because they can’t stop crapping in their drinking water, then let them die.

    • http://www.ejenks.com/ Erik Jenkins

      Please don’t say things like that about a problem you obviously don’t understand. People have to defecate regularly, and it’s tough when you live in a closely populated area. You can’t just go anywhere you want. This biodegradable bag will help solve lots of problems. It’ll decontaminate the feces so that they cannot harm those who use them. Please treat this problem with the respect it deserves.

    • Wow..

      Are you serious?

      What makes you so high and mighty?

      I’m willing to bet if you weren’t born into a society like ours that already has established waste sanitation systems you would crap wherever you wanted too.

      Then some idiot red neck would be saying you should be left for dead because he says your too stupid to figure out where to crap.

      I’m amazed at the amount of ignorant responses and also at the amount of responses that didn’t even fully read the article. Not even the pictures. THIS BAG IS BIODEGRADABLE!

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  • Geoprocessing Student

    This is truly a revolutionary concept. For those of you that think these people just dump pollutants directly into their water supplies, you are partly correct. Some people really are that ignorant to sanitation and they will defecate right at the edge of their water basin. Others that try to do their business elsewhere have a good possibility of still polluting their water basin because of the permeability of their aquifer. Without proper urban planning, such as monitoring ground water flow to an aquifer, it is impossible for our fellow man to enjoy clean drinking water and at the same time have farmland with the correct balance of nutrients.

    As far as the urea coated-biodegradable bag, that is genius. A lot of people think you can just fling urine and poo on crops and they will grow. This will only work with particular soils… Urine has a high nitrogen content which can be toxic to organic processes in large quantities (i.e. the nitrogen cycle, look where your dog pees a lot in your yard). These bags will allow these nations to properly fertilize and reclaim lost farmland. With more crops comes less wind/water erosion which will also aid in sanitation. Oh, and if they are growing their own food, our ships don’t have to play “dodge the pirate” to bail them out.

    In my eyes, this is the single greatest idea to help out the cause thus far.

  • Daveo

    Pretty cool, but I’m not sure my peepoo would fit in that bag.

    • RadioHost


      • Walter

        Personally I only poop in english, not metric.

        • no


        • name

          But the English do use the metric system.

    • Walter

      I’m sure those malnurished peeople don’t have that problem.

    • http://TToni9@Twitter TToni9

      I thought the same exact thing when I saw the photos. And multiplied the mess with the fact that all the woman have period waste—is it effective on that type of biohazard?

      • ggU

        i don’t think menstrual periods are biohazards..

        • poo girl

          ggU, have you ever heard of “universal precautions”? Blood is a contaminant and a biohazard!

          btw, I’m a woman and I have menstrual periods.

  • http://www.thegogreenblog.info Michelle

    Pretty revolutionary and something I could use for my Kitty’s poo. I’ve used plastic bags to clean my cat’s litter and this would be something that would solve that dilemma.

    • bigboxes

      How about flushing it down your toilet? That’s what I do. No bag needed.

      • joje

        Why do people like you even bother commenting when you have nothing constructive to add to the conversation? You just show your ignorance, your selfishness, and your total disregard for the world at large. You and people like you are very sad examples of the human race.

        • bigboxes

          You talking to me??? If so, I was replying to the person above me who talked of using a plastic bag to clean out her cat’s litter box. Seemed like a waste of a plastic bag that is not biodegradeable. Just scoop and flush down the toilet. Maybe I misunderstood, but it seems that using a toilet for cat feces is preferable to these eco bags.

          Now, if we are talking about the third world where they have no access to modern sanitary methods due to their poverty/socio-economic standing then yeah, I’m all for the use of these eco bags. I did not make light of their conditions and can comprehend their situation without putting them down for contributing to their misery.

          I’m not sure exactly what you are mad at, but maybe you need to actually read the comments instead of knee-jerk react to anyone who’s comments don’t fit your idea of how you understand an issue.

        • Simon

          Don’t be too harsh on her, it all depends on one’s environment. Lets educate her, and others like her that way they’ll join the campaign in a positive sense.

  • http://www.tinyhousedesign.com Michael Janzen

    A consumable product is not sustainable. I think sawdust toilets are a better way to go. http://www.oursoil.org/

    • http://greenupgrader.com Matt Embrey

      Michael, I agree but think that they are more environmentally sound than the plastic bag “Flying toilets” people are already using because these biodegrade. I’ll have to look into the sawdust toilets, that looks like a pretty interesting idea.

    • manda

      I completely agree, Michael. I think the peepoo bag would actually be a better solution than flushing a cat turd down the toilet. Wasting gallons of clean water to flush waste away, even your own, is a shame.

      Composting toilets do not stink, require sawdust or chips (which we have plenty of) and create usable fertile soil.

      I understand that people in those third world countries may not have the means/space to make them or may not be able to sustain them because they would be over filled so the bag concept is acceptable if they cannot. It would be pretty cool though if they could. It would probably even be a benefit for them. With fertile soil becoming the end result… however with desertification taking place in some areas because people are so desperate for fuel they chop away anything that can be burned I doubt something like saw dust or chips would be possible for them.

      The bags are certainly a step in the right direction, I think.

  • Bill

    Maybe I’m just a callous bastard, but… if there are _so_ frigging many people that they’re almost literally _drowning_ in their own excrement, MAYBE they should stop BREEDING for a while. It’s not rocket science. Jesus. I’m a vegetarian because I love animals. But I also spay and neuter my pets and support public programs that provide these services for the pets of people who can’t afford it themselves. If we let them breed without control, we’d be up to our eyeballs in starving, diseased, feral cats and dogs. But hey – if _people_ live this way because of their own ignorance, suddenly it’s _our_ responsibility to bail them out? Send them a bunch of rubber bands to put around their children’s scrotums until they shrivel up and fall off. It’s what they do to cattle and sheep (if they’re lucky – if not, they just hack ‘em off with a dull knife). Problem solved. STOP BREEDING, or you’re going to DIE in your own FILTH. Very simple. Peepoo bags, indeed.

    • Emma

      Because people reproduce does not make them ignorant. While I agree that the world is over populated and we wouldn’t have some of the problems today if it weren’t because of so many people, some people we taught believe differently and they do reproduce whether it be for religious reasons, family or whatever else. It’s far more simpler to solve the problem of hygiene then overpopulation. And just because one person spays and neuters their pets doesn’t mean everyone will. People are lazy. Some won’t want to dig latrines for a personal waste dump or even walk that far. Our society is privileged that we only have to walk less than 100 meters or so to the nearest bathroom when people is less fortunate circumstances may have to walk miles to get to the latrine. These bags are perfect for even the laziest of people. They needn’t walk to far to use them and all the do is throw them out and they biodegrade. It’s simple and easy. Don’t blame people for what they can’t control. They can’t help where they were born.

      • Paul Pick-Aluas

        Thank you for mentioning the issue of overpopulation. While I do think these Peepoo bags are an excellent idea, there needs to be a more comprehensive solution. The root of this problem is overpopulation. Too many people living too densely in an area with limited resources. The distribution of condoms would be just as cheap as these Peepoo bags and it would help with controlling disease and limit population growth. While I strongly disagree with abstinence-only population control propaganda, I think abstinence should play an important role as well. I understand the importance of sex in human life, but when you are faced with the threat of not being able to feed yourself or your children, the spread of disease (whether through STDs or poor sanitation), and general safety risks associated with most of these areas, how can there be such rampant overpopulation?!

        These Peepoo bags are an excellent idea for a number of reasons, but they need to be used in conjunction with other solutions.

    • o

      The problems don’t really stem from their ignorance. it stems from the ignorance of people like you. European/American/other imperialism pretty much screwed a shitload of countries over. Furthermore, the social norms can make it easier to have people having sex often. However, the castration solution/rubber band thing would be a good punishment for rapists.

    • http://TToni9@Twitter TToni9

      WOW Bill I haven’t heard that kind of sentiment since I started learning about Neo-Naziism. You obviously never found yourself in circumstances or enviornments that were beyond your control and had to stay there. These PEOPLE are born into a world of adversity you cannot have compassion for therefore you should leave hate messages elsewhere.

    • manda

      Here’s the thing. We as a whole are incredibly over-populated. The human race is breeding itself to extinction. While Bill here is willing to oust the poor and suffering because of overpopulation, he’s not man enough to turn that same treatment on himself.

      I myself have made the decision not to have a child and not that I wouldn’t love to have one, because I would. It’s not that I don’t have someone, or that I am unable. Does anyone here realize how many people you create with just one or two kids? The human birthrate far out weighs the mortality rate globally, thanks to advances in modern medicine.

      These kind of problems will keep getting worse and worse.

      An interesting article

  • lvleph

    This is a stupid idea. A self composting latrine is a much better way to go. I built 10 of them in Panama. The people were very happy to have them, because they smell less and the compost produces great vegetables.

  • http://www.Pinklilys.com shirley

    Its a good idea!! When you have small children and your on a road trip and stuck in traffic and its bumper to bumper on the highway it would be handy! Sure beats a soda bottle!

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  • mike

    such a good idea. especially for countries that dont have things like indoor plumbing or even toilets.

  • Nora

    They should make larger ones, the size of a trash can, and then you can attach it to some kind of seat, kind of like a porta-potty. Once it’s full, you can let it sit outside for a little while to let the heat help out the decomposition process and use it as soil. The Urea layer would have to be considerably thicker, but it’d probably be more efficient in getting people to use it.

  • Holly

    Don’t give opinions on things you know nothing about because you end up sounding ignorant. A lot of people that have posted comments have clearly never traveled to areas of extreme poverty. I have and I believe a dual vault ventilated composting latrine is the most appropriate technology for most regions. However, it takes people with time and money to go to these areas to build them and educate the people about sanitation issues. You also have to commit to returning year after year to make sure the latrines are still functioning properly and make sure no one has claimed right to the latrines and is charging for their use. You can say it is their governments responsibility to deal with issues like these but in most cases the government is corrupt or they don’t have the resources to take care of their own people. If you really want to make a difference join your local Engineers Without Borders and go abroad and build some composting latrines.

  • emily

    this seems very degrading. these people are human beings. im sure most people in the world – developing or otherwise – would view excreting into a plastic bag as humiliating, as well as unsanitary.

  • FeelingsorryforMatt

    Poor Matt Embrey has nothing better to do than comment on this article as if it were a forum.
    But anyway, they should combine the latrine and PeePoo Bags into one, making giant biodegradable outhouses. It would use the same amount of material and be less harmful than a simple lye hole.

    • http://greenupgrader.com Matt Embrey

      Thanks for you sympathy, but I’m a little confused, this isn’t a forum?

  • kron3007

    Most people poo daily and pee more than once. This would mean at least 1000 bags annually per person. Any area where this is a problem likely has a significant population density. If each bag cost 1 cent, every thousand people would cost $10 000/year. In these regions, a lot of infastructure could be installed for $10 000 , and in the long run it would be cheaper to bite the bullet and do it. Unless you can produce these bags for virtually nothing, which from the sounds of them is not the case, I dont see it as a practical solution.

    Then there is the question of the plastic itself and that you then need to ship them around the world. In the green-washing fashion of the day, they state that they will use renewable sources for the plastic. So, is this being produced from crops diverted from the food supply? How much petroleum would be produced in their cultivation? What is the net carbon footprint of their production/delivery.

    I personally believe that this is a problem that needs to be addressed in a more permanent manner through the development of infastructure and educational programs.

  • nightowl

    Urea isn’t that great as a fertilizer, it adds salts to the soil.

  • anon

    I love that people try to reach out and help people in counrtries that are not as well off. BUT, give a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach him to fish …blah blah blah.
    We can’t just give people bags to poo in…teach them something! hell teach ‘em how to make poo bags themselves!! make them self-sufficient for once!

  • pete

    this is a very good idea. i love how after your finished it becomes fertilizer, which helps boost agricultural production.

  • http://ByExample.com Mel

    I’m am also concerned about the plastic. I do not think that I would want to grow my food in soil that has been amended with biodegraded plastics. We already know that plastics leaching into foods pose a threat to human health. I think the pee poo bag is a clever concept that offers a practical solution to impoverished urban areas. However I do not see it as being that much more sustainable than a disposable diaper. Yes, the plastic biodegrades…but where do the molecules of plastic go? Into the soil? Where does the plastic come from? Genetically modified or pesticide laden crops? Isn’t plastic manufacturing another source of environmental pollutants to be concerned about? I am in favor of finding a solution that does not involve plastic. That said, I am also in favor of moving away from the modern flush toilet, towards a waste system that does not use potable water.

    • Lady

      Plastic is simply not biodegradable. For everyone who is worried about where the ‘biodegraded plastic” will leech, or how long it will take, I highly doubt these are made of true plastic. There are several products out there these days that are extremely similar to plastic but made from things like starch, and thusly have the same properties while maintaining a safe, biodegradable composition.

      For those who will say “didn’t you read the article, it says plastic”, I say it’s unlikely the author designed these awesome bags, and was simply using a lamen term.

  • Thomas Malthus

    Please explain to me how saving thousands of lives and allowing even more people to live in areas that can not sustain the current population is a solution???

    I think condoms are the plastic bags we should be sending them.

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  • Leigh Burville

    Here’s to the haters if they have enough intelligence to be able to read a long post like this.

    Do you know that there millions of displaced people who have marched by the thousands for days and weeks on end escaping war torn villages and towns, settling in camps in areas where they are not even wanted. Nobody has the money in these countries anymore to even feed these people. There are no jobs for them. If it wasn’t for charitable relief funds that bring containers of food etc for the destitute masses more of them would die. People who have never traveled much to Third World Countries have no clue what huge populations are like and how families are torn apart and strangers compete for a bowl of rice and cups of sour milk. Wherever you go you can find poverty and hunger and poor sanitation because people are just busy surviving. Some of them are so malnourished and worried about their sick kids, they can’t even think straight. Malaria, typhoid, tape worms and AIDS are rampant. Grandparents are caring for orphaned grand children. Weather is too rainy, too dry, too hot, humid or freezing cold, Living in shacks made of cardboard and tin which is hard to find after a thousand other people scour the dumps for useable stuff.

    Please tell me where these unwanted people are going to find a place to call their own to dig a hole? And where do they get shovels? And who is strong enough to dig a hole in rock-hard ground? The women? Hell, most of the men all got killed in the damn wars. Perhaps you think these people made their own problems so now just let’s turn our backs and let them die. But you’ve got another think coming.

    It is the rotten industrialized, empirialist nations that built their empires (Spanish, Franch, English, Dutch) that took over these countries centuries ago and took over all the valuable natural resources (the land, the mines, the minerals, and the wood; and robbed all their wealth, built plantations making slaves out of the people. India’s problems, Africa’s problems, Asia’s problems are all because of the these European Empirialists, the rape of the land, rape of the resources, rape of the women, rape of the very soul !!!! …… so would it hurt us self-righteous, gas guzzling, dominant culture freaks, with a bed for every person, 2 flush toilets in every house, a tv in every bedroom, an iPod in every purse, lip gloss, guy hair glue, shoes that light-up when you walk, foods on every corner of your town that poor people would die for, plastic bags coming out our ears enough to pollute our own environment: would it kill you to give your vote of approval to send a few tons of pooppee bags to the CHILDREN of counties that the rich people have messed-over???????? Maybe you hate the adults, but why not help the CHILDREN to LIVE? What’s a few $billion of aid from us? We spend that much on soda, beer and pretzels every year for crying out loud!!!!!!!!

    Thank you Matt Embry for this forum,

    Leii Burv

    • Lady

      Very, very well said.

    • Aikido kid

      I agree with you Leii , Holly and others of you, on many of the points you mentioned. There have been some very interesting comments on this subject.

      However, I think that some of the bloggers are missing the point.

      If we put aside all the problems that these bags present (the cost of making them, their carbon footprint, the logistics, the fact that they are not yet 100% biodegradable etc etc…in short, their sustainability), they are not actually the solution to the problem, even if they are a good invention and a possible short term quick fix.

      Some of you, like Leii, have delved further into the problem itself. The problem is not really the sanitation issue. That is a CONSEQUENCE of a greater problem. It’s a symptom, not a cause.

      We can send as many peepoo bags to poor countries as we like, but these will not help them dig themselves out of their poverty which is the cause for this sanitation problem, not to mention numerous other problems.

      They need us, the developped world, to stop hindering their developpement. Look at the G20 summits!!! Look at the policies of the IMF and the World Bank!!! Everytime, we come to an agreement that is highly advantageous to the developped world, but disasterous to poor countries!

      If you are really serious about wanting to help these countries and the millions upon millions of people suffering from starvation, sanitary problems, poor health, lack of education, jobs etc etc… everything that we take for granted, the first thing we need to do is look at world politics, most notably the WASHINGTON CONSENSUS.

      Through this agreement, countries can receive financial aid (debt) ON CONDITION THAT they open up completely their trade barriers to the whole world, allowing for Free Trade. Of course, this only means that the West swamps their home market with cheaper imported products (which have been subsidized). We therefore create homelessness, unemployment and a general lack of resources needed to construct infrastructure, education, sanitary facilities etc etc etc…

      Before spending millions of dollars on peepoo bags, perhaps we ought to rethink how we treat third world countries, and how we can help them (not stop them) to catch up with us on an economic development level.


      • Paul Pick-Aluas

        Let’s take a minute and evaluate this statement: “this only means that the West swamps their home market with cheaper imported products (which have been subsidized)”.

        You’re trying to tell me that the West is capable of producing products so cheaply and transporting them to Africa such as to compete with locally-produced versions? I think you’re missing the point about development economics. Foreign companies would be killing each other over the opportunity to set up production facilities in Africa. The problems are: infrastructure, security, and political stability. There are few countries in Africa that have all three.

        Moreover, selling ‘subsidized’ products as you describe is neither necessary nor legal. It’s called ‘dumping’ in the context of foreign trade and is generally prohibited by free trade agreements.

  • http://greenupgrader.com Matt Embrey

    I’d like to address all the people who are commenting on this story here and on several social sites asking…

    “Wouldn’t it be better to teach them not to poop in their water.”

    You clearly do not understand the situation. These people are not idiots, they are impoverished.

    Its not like they are taking a dump in their bathtub or in their Brita. They live in densely populated urban areas and there is no infrastructre to remove waste. With millions of people it builds up and eventually leaks into their water supply, which is very limited, and they don’t have the means to clean it.

    • Just someone else

      Dude, I like the concept of these bags, but I must admit that economically as someone previously stated they are not really practical.
      I’m sure that people in the areas your talking about aren’t stupid. I’ve been to some of them.
      But if you pee or poop more than once a day and you are talking about crowded areas where there are a lot of people peeing and pooping…. How much do the bags cost?
      Seriously are you going to supply the bags for nix?
      Or would it be worth saving the cash and putting in the infrastructure for them.
      They really aren’t a solution in an urban area even if they are biodegradable. Where are they going to throw them to degrade?
      I can see the use for westeners in their comfortable environment as toilet bags for long car trips and things like that, But really if you are trying to suggest these are a way to help impoverished places, save the money and build the infrastructure.
      Poor is not stupid. But the easy solution is not always the best.
      This just sounds like a diversion, and a nice money maker for some one.

    • http://TToni9@Twitter TToni9

      Do they have systems set up to catch rain water? That is were I would start researching. I have this belief that as humans we already have the resources to alleviate social problems but we’ve got to find the right match—the right resource(for the least amount of expense)—for the right problem.
      Maybe we’re looking down at the problem when we should be looking up for the solution?

  • http://www.man-eater.info Bob

    Lots of lion-human conflict in East Africa and one of the top reasons for folks getting jumped by lions at night is farmers on their way to the local latrine….. (Nature, Craig Packer, Dennis Ikanda)
    This could help.

  • mackenzie

    it looks like a good idea and full proof plan. it seems to me that a lot of the criticisms are coming from people who didn’t the article thoroughly or aren’t thinking their alternatives through.

  • Dwindle

    You people need to pay attention. Adding lime to the latrine means thousands of people can use it indefinitely, and it won’t contaminate the water supply because that’s what the lime is for. These bags are completely worthless because they will simply break open in the landfill and contaminate the water, as the regular plastic bags do now. No one is going to separate these and put them somewhere to degrade properly. We already built them self degrading toilets 20 years ago, and they simply filled them with enough trash, plastic, and used condoms to halt the natural process and flood them with raw sewage. Look at inner cities in places like Bangladesh, where people simply shit in the middle of the road, you can see this product will never become a reality. By the way, who is going to pay for these hundreds of millions of bags?

  • Liz

    Read the article… before you comment. This is also a great idea for camping. I’ve rafted the Grand Canyon and other areas where you take everything out, including that stuff. I’ll suggest to my river rat friends this.

  • Manda

    Interesting article and comments… I’m not sure how sustainable this product would really be. Some of the reason were mentioned previously such as the cost of the bags and the number that would actually be needed since its a one time use item. While these are likely better than the flying toilets mentioned in the article and it seems like the product is intended to replace the flying toilets I wonder if the only part of it that is being replaced is the type of bag used and I wonder where the filled bags are going to be disposed of. I know the article says that the bag biodegrades (but doesn’t say how long that process takes, the one in the picture looks fairly intact to me) and so it can be used for ag purposes but how much ag land is available in slums? If there isn’t enough free space for construction of latrines why would there be enough area to bury these bags? If there isn’t enough land where the product is used, is someone going to collect the bags to take to an ag field for use? Who’s job is that and how do you make sure they do it properly? Is anyone going to be willing to eat crops from fields where humanure is used? I’m completing school soon with a focus in the water supply, sanitation and hygiene in developing communities from an environmental engineering focus and from my studies and discussion in classes the sanitation problem is not an easy one to solve. There are so many social, technical and policy issues around sanitation its impossible to come up with the perfect solution. This is an interesting idea but I don’t think that it’ll really work as intended.

  • P00PiE

    Why don’t they just stop reproducing, thus ending the AIDS epidemic and the sanitation problem… SOLVED

  • may

    it would probably take a good amount of money to produce and distribute these, wouldnt it be a better use of money to teach personal heigene, and ways to create bathrooms…….

  • http://www.chaitanyak.com chaitanyak

    at first glance thought it was weird, but once i read through, it makes a lot of sense

  • Sam

    When i first started to read this i was a little confused abut where the bags would go. As i read on i realized it was a great idea. I love it!. .. It may not solve every problem but its a start since the choice between drinking water and toilet water is their problem. esp. the fact that it breaks down with in hours to months, now if you can cut that time in half there will be a lot less pee poo bags to look at (referring to german picture)

  • ‘Ole Stink Eye.

    Why not just shit anywhere? Its a third world country… My dog and other animals crap where-ever they feel like it; just like those animals.

    • poo girl

      1. If you are joking, it’s a bad joke.
      2. If you let your dog defecate anywhere and don’t clean it up and properly dispose of it, you are putting your dog, yourself, and others at risk of illness, and that is very irresponsible.
      3. Other animals defecate where they do and the environment’s cycles and organisms that are classified as decomposers deal with the feces. But this has to do with a concept called “carrying capacity”, like homeostasis.
      4. Humans are the most successful predators on the Earth, which is why there are so many of us.
      5. Since we are physically bigger than a lot of animals, I would guess we produces a lot more volume and mass of waste than many other animals.
      6. You are calling people animals simply because they are impoverished. Would YOU live in a slum by choice? NO, NOBODY WOULD!
      7. I would love to tell you what I think of you based on your comment, but to quote a line from the Wizard of Oz, “…being a Christian woman, I can’t!”

    • Paul Pick-Aluas

      Here’s a thought:

      We take people like Ole Stink Eye, ship them to the biggest shit-hole 3rd world country we can find, and replace him with a poor starving child from that country. Yes, these people can contribute to solving the problem of their own misery, but they are not animals (I don’t mean in the literal sense). Just as civilized people have developed a sense of good sanitation and hygiene, they have developed a sense of humanity. You clearly lack the latter and based on your redneck ideas, probably the former. So go find yourself a Peepoo bag for your next comment.

  • G

    WOW people if you did not fully read the article DO NOT COMMENT. I hate when people do that…idiots always speaking out of ignorance trying to sound smart!

  • poo girl

    Totally awesome! Wish I had a few when I went camping on the John Muir Trail in Onion Valley, CA. Instead, the guide told us we were supposed to defecate onto a large surface of rock, then wipe with leaves and sticks, then spread the feces into a VERY thin layer with a smaller flattish stone. The thin layer allows the sun to dry up the feces and then the wind can carry it away in small flakes after it dries up. I followed directions, and the whole time I was defecating and spreading the poo, a squirrel or something like it was barking at me from less than 20 feet away. I guess I was defecating in it’s territory? I would MUCH rather have had a Peepoo bag…a lot less time than icing a big rock with my feces!

    • http://Website(optional) jules

      This is not the kind of thing that would be okay to leave in a park. This is litter.

  • Mathews

    I think this is quite dangerous in that
    a. it takes immense and impractical logistics to deliver these bags to people for each time they have to go to toilet + the difficulty in making them adopt the technology.
    b. Second, it reinforces the idea that doing toilet in a plastic bag is socially acceptable. Any shortage of these bags or immediate unavailability when the urge strikes will have people doing their toilet in ordinary plastic bags.

    The makers of these bags are trying to solve the problem the wrong way.

    A self composting toilet would work wonders here.

  • mott

    Just shit or piss on a tree for christ’s sake.

  • http://stepbackforward.blogspot.com Myth

    Why the stylized font?

    I doubt the font the making them want the bag more. I don’t see why the bag isn’t just blank and unassuming, sure would make them stand out less amongst their peers.

  • http://why.shoulditell.you Jethro

    so… if there is an over population problem in this area, then why are we trying to save peoples lives there?

    i hate to say it but if those people weren’t dying because of bad water, then there would be even more people creating even larger problems.