Tiny Toilet Lends a Helping Hand


Sometimes when you gotta go, you gotta go. For when nature calls, literally, there’s a toilet out there for you.

Pocketoilet is the world’s smallest portable toilet and they’re changing the game by being a life-saving device for when times are tough. Produced by Kokenawa Inc., a startup based in Nagoya, Japan, the company has discovered a way to create an efficient and hygienic latrine that can fit in your pocket.

With climate change, natural disasters are becoming more and more prevalent. During a disaster or living in a war-torn part of the world, finding a toilet that’s safe to use is extremely difficult. Unlike other disaster preparedness supplies such as emergency food, around just 16.9 percent of households have some kind of emergency toilet available. Measuring in at 2.8 inches tall and 3.6 inches wide, the Pocketoilet is looking to change that.

Yoshinori Kokenawa the founder of Kokenawa Inc., came up with Pocketoilet in 2019 when he was volunteering in Nagano after it was devasted by Typhoon Hagibis. He noticed that the area always had long lines of people waiting in line to use conventional portable toilets.

“Even though people were working as fast as they could to get the area back on its feet, they had to line up 30 minutes or more every time they used the bathroom. I wanted to do something about this,” Kokenawa said.

Pocketoilet was launched in December 2020 as a tiny portable toilet you can take anywhere. It’s consists of a bag made of special, durable fibers and a packet of coagulant. The bag can be attached to a regular toilet seat or even a trash can. Tests completed by the company found that almost no odor emanates from one of the bags when left indoors with feces inside it for a week.

So far, the company has sold around 50,000 Pocketoilets and has donated 6,000 to war-torn Ukraine. “Support for people affected by disasters has never been systemized like this before. If we can get the preparations together, it will be of use in future disasters,” Kokenawa said.


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