Finland-based design company Woodio designed a toilet built entirely from wood composite. The wood composite was used to create everything from the seat to the toilet. Wood composite is supposed to be a pretty sustainable material since it produces 99% fewer emissions in its production than ceramics. The toilet is called ‘Block’, and was built using a material that Woodio founder Petro Lahtinen developed himself.
The material is supposed to be 80 percent wood by volume and was created using locally sourced aspen and offcuts from the Finnish forest industry. The wooden composite was made by mixing a combination of fossil-based polyester and bioplastic resins, which make the composite waterproof and “practically unbreakable”, according to Woodio. “Its production process requires no heat and a fraction of the water and energy needed to create traditional ceramic or porcelain toilets,” said Lahtinen.
“There is nothing wrong with ceramic itself. It is the manufacturing process of the ceramics that causes the environmental impact. Typically, industrial ceramics are fired at 1,500 degrees Celsius for at least 12 hours and this heat is produced typically by burning gas, which obviously causes considerable CO2 emissions,” continued Lahtinen. Although Woodio claims that the material generates 99% lesser emissions as compared to ceramics, this claim does not involve any emissions from material sourcing or disposal, which do have a major impact on the complete footprint of a product.
Woodio claims that Block is the “world’s first” flush toilet to be made from the material, and can be burned for energy once it’s done being used, or at the end of its life cycle. This prevents the toilet from ending up rotting in a landfill. This is something to be considered, since the fact that the material is composite in nature, makes it impossible to recycle the toilet once its life cycle ends – which can be anywhere ranging from 10 to 50 years. This composite material was developed by Lahtinen way back in 2017, and since then has been utilized to build a variety of bathroom fixtures – from bathtubs to washbasins. Block is Woodio’s attempt to create the “world’s first” flush toilet from this material!