Don’t touch, and go: the imperative of portable restrooms

Share this article

While being an imperative presence in many outdoors locations, portable restrooms are still perceived with suspicion regarding hygiene. Our touchless toilet might be the solution.

Though this might be one of the hardest truth to accept for a manufacturer of portable restrooms, people don’t necessarily like to use our products. They still use them: at concerts, games, on constructions sites. Wherever there is no access to plumbing, we are happy to provide our portable restrooms. And still, people don’t like them.

The problem with portable restrooms at events

What is it that makes them so unlikable, while being absolutely necessary? Well, in the presence of large crowds, it is the perceived lack of hygiene that works as the strongest deterrent. Most people don’t like to use the toilet outside their home, while others do so reluctantly, trying not to touch anything so as not to catch someone else’s germs. People are particularly aware of contact, or better, of the need to avoid it, particularly when it comes to the “red zone”, that is, the area that sits between knees and waist and which, using a toilet, is the most vulnerable to coming into touch with surfaces.

The problem is so pervasive that people can develop what is generally known as “urination anxiety”, or paruresis, in particular women. In a 2008 study, scholar Carol Olmert traced an interesting link between paruresis and the design of women’s restrooms and facilities, in which she explains that traditional designs for public and private restrooms have not been the friendliest to women, who sometimes would go to great lengths so as not to touch any surfaces.

Hergo, the portable restroom that helps you hover

The so-called “hovering position” assumed by so many is the results of generations of women trying to avoid touching the seat, and has also been our strongest clue designing Hergo. We have looked at users’ needs within portable restrooms and have resolved to effectively respond to them by literally designing Hergo around and for them. In order to support women adopting the hovering position, we have included a sturdy handle that they can comfortably hold on to, and have cut the seat and the tank so as to accommodate the typical 35 degrees angle adopted by users when squatting in a way that prevents them from having to touch the seat.

Share this article