One in three people worldwide live without safe and dignified toilets, over 200 million in African slums. This leads to widespread illness, pollution, and death. Container-based sanitation services address the problem by collecting human faeces in containers, inside toilets, inside peoples’ homes. These services regularly collect the containers and biodegrade the faeces into products, e.g. compost. Generally, container-toilets are smelly, and services are inefficient and unsafe.

The answer to this problem is PooPac.

PooPac is a bioactive paper bag that suppresses the toilet smell. The biodegradable PooPac is sealed for transport, and directly composted, removing all contact with faeces. PooPac can increase access to safe and dignified sanitation.

This project was undertaken as part of a Master of Arts in Design at the Zurich University of Arts (ZHdK). The masters project was completed over three semesters and included two 5 week field trips to Kisumu, Kenya in collaboration with MoSan and WSUP.


Design Research
Explored materials, systems and processes to develop a user centred, business friendly and environmentally sustainable solution
All Skills
Field Testing
Travelled twice to Kisumu, Kenya to carry out field research. Conducted user interviews, fly on the wall observations, focus groups and user testing
All Skills
Industrial Design
Sketched ideas, tested materials, created and tested prototypes, analysed manufacturability and presented the final design solution.
All Skills
Mycology Research
Dove deep into the world of mycology (fungus and mushrooms) to discover under what conditions a mushroom can stop human faeces from smelling.
All Skills
Public Presentations
Presented the PooPac project in a variety of settings. Including: Social Impact Award, Social Impact Start as well as Falling Walls Zürich and Berlin
All Skills
Adobe Creative Suite
Edited product and process images in Photoshop. Created simple clear graphics in Illustrator. Completed the thesis document in InDesign
All Skills

Reference Documents

PooPac Masters Thesis
PooPac Slidedeck
Mushroom Technology Literature Review