Plastics firm has the loos covered

21:21, Mar 08 2011
Toilets
Porta-loo: John Rogers, of Blenheim plastics company Indac, shows one of 50 portable toilets his company is sending to Christchurch

A Blenheim plastics manufacturing company has designed a portable toilet as an alternative for Christchurch residents who still need a spade for when nature calls.

The February 22 earthquake caused widespread damage to the Christchurch sewerage system, and many people still have to use backyard longdrops and portaloos rather than their toilet.

Indac business development manager John Rogers said the portable toilet was made from an existing bucket design with a new lid designed to fit over top as a seat. The company planned to send 50 toilets to Christchurch with the Salvation Army, which will distribute them.

The portable toilets are made of polyethelene through a rotor-moulding process, which requires more labour than the injection moulding process used to make many low-cost plastic products, Mr Rogers said.

The toilets were more expensive to make than most buckets, but there was no chance of it breaking while someone was doing their business, Mr Rogers said.

"Obviously, it will become a sellable product after it's done and dusted down there, but for now it's about helping them," he said.

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He envisioned the buckets being included in home emergency kits, and used by freedom campers.

Dry food, water supplies and radios took precedence over emergency toilets when emergency supplies were discussed in Christchurch, he said.

"Most emergency kits talked about a plastic bag, but that's about as far as they go [for toilets]," he said.

He also advised people to think about the strength of the container that held their emergency kit. Containers should be able to withstand being buried in debris. Some cheap plastic crates were not strong enough and the supplies could be smashed, he said.

The Marlborough Express