The Throne – A 3D printed portaloo made from recycled plastic
Developed by Spanish design studio Nagami, the toilet cubicle is designed to compost solid waste whilst tackling the sanitation crisis.
A solution to eradicate plastic waste – transforming it into a material that can be used in construction – has been realised in the creation of a portable toilet by to.org Creative Activists, led by CEO and co-founder Nachson Mimran. The toilet comprises three parts: a teardrop-shaped body, a dramatic, double-curved sliding door and a bucket for solid waste. All the parts were printed within three days, including the base and some smaller accessories that were either injection-moulded or ordered.
The Throne includes an off-the-shelf separation toilet seat, which separates urine from solids for composting. The first prototype was produced by an advanced seven-axis robotic printer in Nagami’s studio and is currently being trialled on a building site in the Swiss Alps.
United in a shared goal to drive solutions to Earth’s most pressing social and environmental challenges, to.org collaborated with design studio Nagami to 3D print a portable toilet dubbed The Throne using discarded plastic medical equipment from European hospitals. The portable toilet goes further in its realisation of a circular economy by composting the waste produced by The Throne’s visitors, and using this compost locally.
“Our treatment of waste, both human and artificial, has a profound impact on the future of humanity and our planet. Since the 1950s roughly 8.3 billion metric tonnes of plastic has been produced, and only around 9% of this has been recycled; the remainder have been incinerated, piled into landfills, or dumped in our oceans,” said Nachson Mimran, CEO and co-founder of to.org
“At to.org, we have a history of finding solutions to Earth’s critical issues. In 2018 we collaborated with Patricia Arquette’s GiveLove Foundation to build composting toilets in the Kyebando slum in the Ugandan capital of Kampala. We provided safe and hygienic public toilets including one that used bricks created from 13,356 discarded plastic bottles filled with hundreds of thousands of discarded plastic bags. We are thrilled to have evolved this initiative, working with Nagami and our network of artists, designers, engineers and scientists to produce The Throne. Our Creative Activists in Kyebando said it best: ‘Waste is only waste if you waste it’.”
“The 3D printed Throne has been an incredible challenge for us, working with mechanics, sliding doors and off-the-shelf products such as a separation toilet,” said Manuel Jiménez García, CEO and co-founder of Nagami. “These design components forced us to think in a different, utilitarian way which really makes this proof of concept special. We are so happy to have been commissioned by to.org and to work with Nachson Mimran and his Creative Activists on this project.”
Belgian studio ecoBirdy produces plastic furniture made from recycled plastic similar in appearance to man-made stone composites like terrazzo.
Over the summer of 2021, The Throne was 3D printed in the Nagami studio in Ávila, Spain, and shipped to its current location, to be used on a construction site in the Swiss Alps. The to.org team hopes to encourage additive manufacturing firms to share their knowledge and accelerate the use of these machines worldwide.
By putting these technologies in the hands of local communities, vital objects, tools and constructions can be built, innovation can be shared fairly and the carbon footprint created by logistics and shipping of these products will be greatly reduced.
The to.org mission is to find and support those committed to solving Earth’s greatest challenges, individuals and organisations who are working on innovative solutions that promise to make the world a better place.
Additive manufacturing has opened a vast array of new possibilities for the creation of more sustainable and scalable building materials which can address critical issues of waste and, in the case of The Throne, provide access to safe and hygienic sanitation. Nachson Mimran and his team at to.org hope to encourage other creatives, engineers and problem solvers to treat upcycled plastic waste as an inexhaustible building material.
Interested in recyclable materials? Check the New Raw’s “zero-waste” Ermis Chair which was made from the studio offcuts.