Light Re­lief

New uri­nals to change how the French pee in public

Bespoke - - WHOA! -

New eco-friendly uri­nals are be­ing rolled out across France with the aim of civil­is­ing the crude habit the French have of pee­ing in the streets. The de­vice, known as Uritrot­toir, is an elab­o­rate mix of a uri­nal and a flow­er­pot, with a minia­ture gar­den sit­ting atop a closed bin con­tain­ing dry straw, saw­dust or wood chips. Due to those ma­te­ri­als’ high car­bon con­tent, the uri­nal is fully odour ab­sorb­ing and – af­ter tak­ing in the flu­ids of around 600 peo­ple – the bins are col­lected and the con­tents trans­formed into com­post for parks and gar­dens. “We’re mak­ing a fer­tiliser, so it’s a cir­cu­lar econ­omy. We’re re-us­ing two waste prod­ucts, straw and urine, to make some­thing that makes plants grow,” said Lau­rent Le­bot, who de­signed the Uritrot­toir with his col­league Vic­tor Mas­sip from the firm Fal­tazi, which is based in Nantes. He also re­veals that the Uritrot­toir is fit­ted with an elec­tronic mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem that sends a sig­nal when the soaked straw or saw­dust needs col­lect­ing. Yet, as cre­ative a so­lu­tion as it presents, Le­bot con­cedes his prod­uct has one fun­da­men­tal flaw. “We had thought this was mainly a male prob­lem, but it seems we were wrong. So we haven’t solved the prob­lem in its en­tirety. For women, the so­lu­tion is not so sim­ple.”

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