Peepoo is a personal, single-use, self-sanitising, fully biodegradable toilet that prevents faeces from contaminating the immediate area as well as the surrounding ecosystem. After use, Peepoo turns into valuable fertiliser that can improve livelihoods and increase food security.

Peepoo is in the form of a slim biodegradable bag, with an inner layer that unfolds to form a wide funnel. For more convenience, Peepoo can be placed on the Peepoo Kiti or on a small bucket and used as a chamber pot. After use the contents inside Peepoo can easily be isolated from the surrounding by tying the top into a knot.

Where the product is being used

DR Congo
Emergency and refugee camps in e.g. Philippines, Syria, Pakistan.

The Problems it attempts to solve

Today, more 1 billion people live in urban slums. In informal settlements, water, electricity and sanitation are scarce and infrastructure is not keeping up as populations expand.

The lack of sanitation infrastructure leads to water contamination – a primary cause of typhoid, diarrhoea, and other intestinal diseases. In the Kenyan slum of Kibera, one of the largest informal settlements in Africa, two out of three people are using flying toilets as their primary sanitation solution. As a result, the human waste of entire communities goes flying through the air as a standard practice.

In a typical primary school in the world’s slums, the state of the sanitary facilities and the level of the children’s hygiene are poor. Often hundreds of children have to share a single pit latrine. This leaves children with few, if any, options for defecating out in the open during school hours. At the least, this results in a loss of time away from lessons for students. In the worst cases, the incidence of rapes can become an everyday occurrence. In an atmosphere of poor health, children are unable to fulfil their education potential.

Business Model

In urban slums Peepoople has an inclusive business model for the base of the pyramid market (BoP-market). At mature level in Kenya, seen in a perspective of seven years, the cost of a Peepoo is equal to its value as a fertiliser, transforming the Peepoo Sanitation System and Peepoo School Programme into pure services. Until this mature level is reached, an additional price support or subsidy is needed.

In the Peepoo Sanitation System, the cost of the service is carried by the users themselves, through the cost of each Peepoo they buy. For the Peepoo School Programme this service cost, described as sanitation provision and hygiene and health education, has to be donor funded or based on a national policy change, where the global community (as donors/sponsors), or national or municipal authorities assume responsibility.

Design Approach

The design of Peepoo was developed by the founder Professor Anders Wilhelmson and the team around him, consisting of researchers from two Swedish Universities, KTH and SLU. Peepoo is designed to be used once, while sitting, squatting or standing.Ergonomically designed to be easy and hygienic to use, simple to produce, and thus possible to be sold to groups with the weakest purchasing power, Peepoo offers a sanitation choice for both individuals and society at large.


Peepoo contains five grams of urea – a non-hazardous chemical that is the most common artificial fertiliser in the world. When the urea in Peepoo comes into contact with faeces or urine, a breakdown into ammonia and carbonate takes place, driven by enzymes that naturally occur in faeces. As the urea is broken down, ammonia starts to inactivate infectious organisms and sanitisation process begins. Disease causing pathogens, which may be found in faeces, can be rendered inactive within four weeks.


Today more than 12 000 families are regular users in the Kibera slum. Another 10 000 school children in 72 schools have the Peepoo solution available in their schools.

The aim is to implement the Peepoo system in three slums in Kenya reaching 100,000 daily users in the community and another 100,000 daily users with the Peepoo School Program by 2020 and collect 40 million (6,400 tonnes) of Peepoo to be applied as fertiliser per annum, sufficient to support 1,000 small-hold farmers and plant 800,000 trees.

Lessons Learned

  • Working closely with the elders and the community is vital for the survival of project.
  • The child-to-community effect plays an important role in spreading awareness about Peepoo.
  • To build up an efficient and reliable collection system in the community is crucial.
  • Most users do not treasure the refund of 1 Ksh per Peepoo enough to walk to a drop-point with their used Peepoos, but they appreciate the collection service from their homes.
  • Schools cannot afford to buy Peepoos for their students.
  • Children are fast adopters and Peepoo is their preferred choice.
  • Parents’ training and information sessions play an important role.


Martina Nee,