Today more than ever, politicians, engineers, researchers and citizens are actively seeking out ways to reduce our production of waste — everything from industrial byproducts, to old and outdated electronics, to human excrement.
It's no mean task, but it's one that is becoming increasingly possible, in light of recent advancements in fields ranging from chemistry to physics to microbiology. Let's explore some examples of how, by helping redefine what we regard as a resource, science is putting an end to waste. It seems only fitting, really, that we begin by examining the reinvention of the toilet.
Reinventing the Toilet
In a world where sanitation fixtures rule, the toilet is a perennial despot. With the exception of a few incremental tweaks relating to pipe and plumbing placement, the porcelain throne has remained largely unchanged for well over a century, and for good reason: it works. As explained by Rachel Swaby in Gizmodo's recent explainer on why toilets, after all these years, are still made of porcelain: