The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation invest in developing new technologies that can improve the performance of existing toilets and create alternatives to worldwide access to basic sanitation
According to a World Health Organization report, three out of every ten people don’t have access to drinking water at home, and six in every ten lack safe sanitation. In other words, more than 4 billion people in the world live in poor sanitation conditions, dealing with the lack of potable water for consumption and hygiene on a daily basis, and also suffering from untreated sewage and avoidable diseases.
Bill and Melinda Gates’ Foundation, the biggest private worldwide philanthropic organization, is aware of this, and has been investing heavily in solving the greatest sanitation challenges in the planet. At the end of 2018, Bill Gates – co-founder of Microsoft and one of the wealthiest persons in the world – introduced a new toilet that doesn’t require water or sewers, and uses chemicals to turn human waste into fertilizers.
Gates said in an interview with Reuters that, after years of research, the new toilet is ready to be put in the market: “The toilets we see today simply send the residues to the water, while our toilets don’t even need to be connected to any sewer system, since they collect the liquids and solids and process them chemically”.
The Gates Foundation estimates that poor sanitation conditions kill more than 500,000 children under the age of five annually, and cost an estimated $200 billion a year, in the form of higher health costs and lost productivity and wages. Therefore, the Foundation and collaborators invested $200 million in developing the new toilet; an extra $200 million will be spent to guarantee production and distribution on a large scale.
Bill Gates compared the innovation of toilets that don’t require water to the development of computers when he founded Microsoft in the 1970s. “The same way that a personal computer is independent, it’s not a big deal to process our human waste chemically”.
Gates added that the next step in the Project is to pitch the concept to manufacturers. He estimates that the market for the toilets will be more than $6 billion by 2030.
Watch Bill Gates’ Video interview
Content published in February 21, 2019
What Braskem is doing about it?
A Braskem lidera, ao lado da SANASA e com apoio da Rede Brasil do Pacto Global da ONU, o movimento Menos Perdas Mais Água. Desde 2015, a iniciativa atua em prol da redução de perdas hídricas no sistema de distribuição. O movimento já conseguiu mostrar que as perdas de água agravam a vulnerabilidade das bacias hidrográficas, uma vez que intensificam o desequilíbrio entre oferta e demanda pelo recurso. A situação das Bacias Hidrográficas dos rios Piracicaba, Capivari e Jundiaí de São Paulo (PCJ-SP) é uma das mais preocupantes. Lá, as perdas totalizam 183 milhões de m³ ao ano, o que equivale a 60% de todo consumo anual do setor industrial regional, com suas cerca de 1.500 empresas. A Braskem não se limita a melhorar apenas a sua pegada hídrica. A empresa também atua em parceria com seus clientes, fornecedores e parceiros estratégicos para desenvolver novos produtos, aplicações e soluções que aumentam a eficiência no uso da água em toda a cadeia de valor.