Aviva Revivi is an industrial design student at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, and she created a biodegradable toilet paper named O-SOW. O-SOW is really quite unique as it integrates seeds to promote plant growth! She came up with the product on a hiking trip in the Israeli desert, where she noticed there were often days when she didn’t come across people, but she did come across toilet paper. That’s when she decided she wanted to resolve this problem.
The ingenious toilet paper substitute is made from orange, and aloe vera leaves, and plant seeds. It is targeted at hikers who “prefer to sow and fertilize the earth, rather than leave human waste behind”. Squeezed citrus residue and plant seeds were used to make the toilet paper. Revivi picked orange for its flexibility properties, and aloe vera for its softness. The swift decomposition of the orange teams up with the active E.coli bacteria that is found in human feces, to allow the toilet paper to biodegrade pretty fast when discarded in the wild.
“Since we are talking about an orange slice, it can easily dissolve in moisture and liquids. Animals eat it, and it decomposes in the ground and even on a sidewalk on the street.” said the designer. “Seeds of different plants are woven into O-SOW and with the help of the nutrient-rich human waste, natural seeding occurs simply through its use. The seeds I used are mint, peony, rose, parsley, and cress, but I aim to map popular trekking areas and assign each a number of seeds suitable for growing.”
What’s interesting is that each packet has been incorporated with different seeds, so that travelers can pick based on the vegetation found in the area they are traveling to. The toilet paper is packed in single-use packaging made from biodegradable paper and includes a tear thread for opening, which showcases the type of seed, and the number of sheets in the package. She also included a case made from leftover parachute fabric that is meant to carry the leftover sheets, once the package has been opened.
Revivi chose a round shape for the toilet paper, as she found the length and width allow for dual wiping, and is adequate for all hand sizes. “When choosing the shape, it was important for me that there would be a double response option that would be product-oriented and look pleasant and promising but renewable and supporting the product values,” she said.