Useless baby gear #98485: Poteez. Just say no.


Headdesk of the day: Poteez single-use disposable potties.

Can I see a possible role for having one in the back of the car for emergencies? Sure, though you could just use a regular potty or a bowl or jar.

But that wouldn’t be much of a business model, would it? These people are pushing them for routine use in the home. They’re also claiming that they’re “environmentally friendly” because they’re [*buzzword alert!* *buzzword alert!*] biodegradable.

That giant whooshing sound was the greenwashing. A toilet or a single plastic potty you can use for years, vs. eleventybilliongazillion manufactured, bleached, dyed, coated, transported, used, landfilled cardboard potties?

Oh, but they’re not comparing them to toilets or potties: they’re comparing them to nappies.

“Early use of Poteez will prevent millions of non biodegradable nappies going into landfill!”

Or early use of the toilet will prevent non-biodegradable nappies going into landfill (if you use non-biodegradable nappies, that is.) Is there something magical about the cardboard seat that causes early toilet training? Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, folks!

The Star goes a step further and calls them “recyclable“. I’m sure our friendly council recycling people would love that.

So did this story really grow out of brainstorming a way to save the world from disposable nappies? Nnnnnot so much. According to SYIF, some bloke got sick of arguing with his wife about whose turn it was to clean the potty. [My advice: suck it up, dude. Metaphorically.]

“At the time we were working in the packaging industry and we knew a solution could be found. We looked at how popular disposable nappies were and came up with the idea.

“It has progressed into a business and become an advanced product using recycled cardboard. It can be easily stored for quick use, is fully bio-degradable and can therefore be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.

“We hold the UK patent which covers any form of paper based potty which is folded to construct a rigid watertight receptacle. There are also plans in place to extend this for adult use in hospitals and old people homes.”

Newflash: there’s no ‘environmentally friendly’ way to dispose of poo that doesn’t involve sewers or a septic system. And last time I looked, hospitals have toilets. Are we looking to phase those out completely in favour of the landfill stream? I’m just imagining the hospital storage area for used MegaPoteez…. *shudder*

The real business model emerges slightly later in the SYIF story:

“It’s also a great opportunity for branding and advertising partnerships with children’s cartoon characters.”

I guess we can look forward to Struts Runway Magic, Bratz, Cars, and Spiderman Poteez hitting the shelves sometime soon.

In the future, we will all be shitting on the Wiggles.

Categories: environment

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13 replies

  1. a regular potty, a bowl, a jar, or a little shovel, a la camping.
    if you don’t want to clean a potty, go for the training seat over the ordinary loo with a reusable footstool.

  2. Well, given the firm which produces “Huggies” brand nappies is apparently trying to pitch their product to parents of children as old as eleven (in the form of “sleepover pants” – basically a nappy by any other name, for a child who by then should be capable of using the loo) I suppose they think they’re in with a chance.
    Meg Thornton’s last blog post..Further cursing, swearing and mumbling…

  3. (in the form of “sleepover pants” – basically a nappy by any other name, for a child who by then should be capable of using the loo)

    Depends on the kid, of course – I’m glad there are some products out there for larger kids. Plenty of kids come with their own issues with night training, the vast majority of them non-‘behavioural’, and sleepover-shaming is a pretty powerful nasty.
    We use reusables at night, but I haven’t discarded the idea of trying a single-use product on a single occasion if the kid still needs it when he sleeps over somewhere other than with family.
    I’m no friend of Kimberley-Clark though, their greenwash-fibbing and media spin is waaaaay out of control.
    Lauredhel’s last blog post..Useless baby gear #98485: Poteez. Just say no.

  4. Plenty of kids come with their own issues with night training, the vast majority of them non-’behavioural’, and sleepover-shaming is a pretty powerful nasty.

    Especially common issue for kids on the autistic spectrum.

  5. Wow, talk about wasteful… don’t we have enough useless products floating around… holy crap 😉
    feministgal’s last blog post..This is What a Feminist Looks Like

  6. In my perusal of shopping centre hell this arvo (I was looking for gumboots, which is another story) I noticed there are also plastic ‘travel potties’ with plastic bag type inserts. I find the fold-up travel potty idea incredibly funny, because they really don’t save much space, and there are moving parts to get gross.
    kate’s last blog post..Earth Hour 29th March, 8pm

  7. I can see how one would be handy on a long trip, but yet at the same time if my kids were that little that a bathroom break was absolutely necessary now, then they did the camper squat style.
    I can’t see how just because the product is “biodegradable” is it good for the enviroment. It seems like a lot of packaging and what not for a one time use.

  8. hahahahahahaha!
    Tracee Sioux’s last blog

  9. My sister has one of those plastic travel potties and I do have to say it makes a lot of sense for her. She travels between CA and CO a lot. There’s a stretch along the I 70 where there is absolutely nothing for a hundred miles or so. Her kids are 2 and 4. The younger one has just started potty training and is still sometimes a little iffy about going on the potty. Trying to get him to squat on the side of the road on his little two-year-old legs is just very much not worth the effort.
    She could put him in diapers for the drive, but that would disrupt his potty training. So why, exactly, would she not bring a plastic potty?
    Especially since it’s hardly messier to clean than helping a two year-old learn how to wipe his bottom in the first place.
    Mickle’s sister: “[Mickle’s newphew] get back here! We do not leave the bathroom without having wiped our bottom.”
    Mickle’s nephew: “But I want to…”
    Mickle’s sister: “You are walking around Grandma’s house naked and you still have poo on your bottom! Get back here! Now!
    Poteez, however? Two thumbs down. And then some.
    Mickle’s last blog post..Just In Case Anyone Needed Any More Proof….

  10. You know, for a truly eco-friendly option, you could just let the kid shit into an empty tissue box…
    Tim’s last blog post..Keeping the oldies entertained

  11. Hey, that is actually a rather nifty idea.
    You’d have to remember to hoard them prior to any trip, though…
    Helen’s last blog post..Ten minutes to Earth hour

  12. Hey Mickle, we have a potty in the car – a normal small one not a travel one. It means if we have an urgent potty need with our training 2yo we can quickly put him on something familiar. We also have plastic bags and terry towelling nappies to deal with anything. I am not sure why we’d need throw-away plastic liners though, but then again we use reusable nappies and don’t find washing dirty things a hassle, even have used them travelling and camping. And I agree, you can’t really make a 2yo go where you want them to, especially not a scary side of the highway experience.

  13. “in the form of “sleepover pants” – basically a nappy by any other name, for a child who by then should be capable of using the loo”
    Ever tried to toilet train a severely autistic child, Meg?
    No, I didn’t think so. Most children will be capable of using the loo by the time they’re eleven, if they’re developmentally normal. Let’s not judge, hey.
    Rebekka’s last blog post..Useless help desk monkeys

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