Human waste, one of the last big "taboos" in today's global society, no matter the country, culture or race, is now becoming more accepted as part of the worldwide conversation thanks to the current environmental crisis. Every day, a single person produces one liter of urine and 200 grams of feces, which will need an average of 6 to 10 liters to flush away. On a planet with eight billion people, that translates into millions of tons of waste. Many might not be aware that a "toilet revolution" is taking place on the planet today. It has become evident that we need to make significant changes in how we handle, manage and even talk about human waste.
Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, has been involved in improving access to toilets and sanitation in developing countries. He launched the global "Reinvent the Toilet Challenge" in 2011 to create new technologies for producing safe and affordable sanitation solutions in areas without access to traditional sewage systems.
In many parts of the world, especially in developing countries, people do not have access to safe and hygienic toilets, which can spread diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, and typhoid. These diseases are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, particularly among children, and they disproportionately affect the poorest and most vulnerable populations.
Through the "Reinvent the Toilet Challenge", the Gates Foundation has funded research and development projects at universities and institutions worldwide to create innovative toilet designs that use alternative methods for treating and managing waste. These efforts have resulted in several prototypes, including toilets that use solar power and other renewable energy sources to treat waste on-site and toilets that convert waste into useful products like energy, fertilizer, and clean water. There is also a project to try and remove "toilet stink" by analyzing human waste smells at a molecular level to try and alter anything unpleasant.
The movie also touches on how a major shift in treating human waste is needed as soon as possible. Sewage is mainly treated in centralized facilities that are costly to build and maintain. They often have a negative impact on the environment, including water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Developing affordable, sustainable methods for managing human waste can significantly reduce these impacts and improve people's overall quality of life worldwide.
Directed by: Arnaud Robert