After a global pandemic and in the midst of an environmental crisis, the conception of what is disgusting is narrowing to be more restrictive than ever. The constant fear and anxiety related to contamination promotes a more prude society, concerning the notion of filth and disgust. As Mary Douglas elaborated in Purity and Danger, dirt is only “matter out of place”.
The idea of Piss Soap is to offer a new place for waste and discarded material that we load in trash bags and dispose of. The project offers a new cycle of life to waste, creating a circular economy and production that contributes actively to reducing our impact on the environment while benefiting directly our urban surroundings.
Piss soap challenges our understanding of the binary of dirtiness and cleanliness. Can an object be made out of “gruesome” material but be beneficial to our health? Using only waste, Piss Soap invite the maker and user to realign their vision upon the discarded matter. Are we constantly trashing matter that has the potential to be repurposed, recycled, and reused? Piss Soap proposes a deviant yet conscious approach to tackle our waste issue, asking you to think twice the next time you flush.
The project creates a cognitive shift in our consumerist attitude and reflects on what is wrong with our current system: our social programming to buy, use, discard, repeat …
Piss Soap takes a piss at capitalistic-driven attitudes and proposes a new deviant and regenerative circular loop in our societies.
Piss Soap can be an agent of change and answer some urgent needs we have to address in our climate crisis. It pushes us to review our cultural consumerist behaviour and aims, through creativity, to change our habits by subverting our perspective on waste.
Piss Soap invites citizens to engage directly with their own waste management without creating individual ecological guilt. The process is simple, affordable and creates a new social engagement where each inhabitant is empowered to create ecological change on their local scale.
In the future, Piss Soap could be available via diverse platforms such as the European City Hub program and other institutions participating actively in the European Green Deal.
Piss Soap is starting to be implemented in the local landscape of Amsterdam since 2017.
As an enterprise, it weaves a network of active associations, citizens and local entities that are all dedicated to climate justice and transition.
As a material, I present Piss Soap in public events where the visitors have the chance to experience the outcome and share their opinion. The general public tends to find it both attractive and repulsing at the same time, which in any case, leads to interesting conversations about our vision of the discarded matter.
As a social prompt, it received trust and relevance from citizen movements. It helps build an engaged local community that will ultimately lead to rethinking the policies in our city.
As a new economy, Piss Soap offers a good opportunity to rethink our recycling industries.
As an ecodeviant matter, Piss Soap contribute to a bottom-up social change towards a conscious future. By its simplicity, accessibility and universality, Piss Soap spreads rhizomatically, connecting, regenerating and benefitting our environment and its inhabitants.
Piss Soap has a positive impact on our urban spaces and life. The raw materials (used cooking oil, wood ashes and human urine) are found in snack bars, public spaces, and toilets, and are usually discarded. Piss Soap proposes a new circular ecology where both the public services and inhabitants can benefit from their own waste while keeping our streets clean.
Right now, sustainability seems to be a light approach to counteract environmental deterioration. As a result, we need to create regenerative processes that directly impact positively this tendency. Piss Soap have a strong ecological added value as it consumes and transforms waste into a product that will dissolve after its use.
Piss Soap is regenerative and can be easily implemented locally as its production requires very little energy and domestic appliances.
Piss Soap consumes roughly 10 kg of cooking oil, 15L of urine and 15 kg of wood ashes to produce 30 kg of golden soap. Besides, the project aims to serve as an educational model for the citizen in tangible ways to tackle the climate crisis and to re-learn to use what exists and surrounds us. It is intrinsically designed to regenerate both our attitude towards waste and our cities.
Piss Soap contributes to the Waste Framework Directive that requires EU countries to take measures to treat waste oils while protecting human health and their environment and the local goals of Amsterdam to become fully circular by 2050.
Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.
Human urine, used cooking oil, and wood ashes.
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Accessible to visitors of the Future Materials Lab