- Title: Bill Gates, on China trip, talks futuristic toilets and lauds free trade
- Date: 6th November 2018
- Summary: BEIJING, CHINA (NOVEMBER 6, 2018) (REUTERS) U.S. BILLIONAIRE PHILANTHROPIST BILL GATES WALKING UP TO PODIUM AND SHAKING HANDS WITH MC GATES TAKING OUT JAR OF HUMAN FAECES AND SAYING (English): "WELL, I BROUGHT A LITTLE EXHIBIT HERE. THIS IS A CONTAINER OF HUMAN FAECES." CONTAINER OF HUMAN FAECES ON PODIUM (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. BILLIONAIRE PHILANTHROPIST, BILL GATES, SAYING: "Unsafe sanitation is a huge economic burden. You know, it's not just the children - all of those diseases, the quality of life, and the estimate is over 223 billion a year in the lost productivity and wages, and not fully accounting just for that negative human experience involved." MEDIA/ATTENDEES SEATED REPORTER SPEAKING TO GATES (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. BILLIONAIRE PHILANTHROPIST, BILL GATES, SAYING: "Well, the current toilet simply sends the waste away in the water, whereas these toilets, they don't have that sewer. This is non-sewered sanitation, and so they take both the liquids and solids and do chemical work on it, including burning it in most cases, so that at most you have some ash that isn't smelling bad and doesn't have any disease in it." VARIOUS OF SUSTAINABLE TOILET DISPLAY AT REINVENTED TOILET EXPO (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. BILLIONAIRE PHILANTHROPIST, BILL GATES, SAYING: "The challenge now is that those sewers aren't being put in, there's a huge water shortage, and so for the first time we're really saying, 'can we make it more economic to avoid all of that?' And in the same way that a personal computer is sort of self-contained, not a gigantic thing, 'can we do this chemical processing actually at the household level?'" VARIOUS OF WATERLESS TOILET ON DISPLAY AT REINVENTED TOILET EXPO (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. BILLIONAIRE PHILANTHROPIST, BILL GATES, SAYING: "Trade allows each country to do what it's best at. So when I talk, you know, components of this toilet being made in China, other components made in Thailand, some components being made in the U.S., you really want to bring together all that I.Q. so that the eventual beneficiaries in Africa are getting that combination. And so, you know, I'm clearly somebody who believes in free trade and hope that whatever the current waves are there, that those get settled." VARIOUS OF TOILETS ON DISPLAY AT REINVENTED TOILET EXPO
- Embargoed: 20th November 2018 08:58
- Keywords: infrastructure Bill Gates in China free trade trade sanitation Bill Gates Reinvented Toilet Expo Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation toilet
- Location: BEIJING, CHINA
- City: BEIJING, CHINA
- Country: China
- Topics: Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA00195D8NYF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: U.S. billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates unveiled on Tuesday (November 6) a futuristic toilet that doesn't need water or sewers and uses chemicals to turn human waste into fertilizer.
The Microsoft co-founder also lauded the globalised and free trade systems that made the toilet technology possible. His trip comes amid trade tension between China and the United States, the world's two largest economies, which have slapped tit-for-tat tariffs on goods worth billions of dollars.
The toilet, which Gates said was ready for sale after years of development, is the brainchild of research projects funded by his foundation, which has committed roughly $200 million to its development. There are multiple designs of the toilet but all work by separating liquid and solid waste. Gates compared the change from traditional toilets to waterless models as similar to development in computing around the time he founded Microsoft in the mid-1970s.
During an opening speech for the Reinvented Toilet Expo, he illustrated the importance of improving sanitation by holding up a clear jar of human faeces. According to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, poor sanitation kills half a million children under the age of five annually and costs the globe over $200 billion a year in healthcare costs and lost income.
It is the first time the Gates' foundation has addressed an event in China, where President Xi Jinping is promoting a three-year "toilet revolution" to build or upgrade 64,000 public toilets by 2020 to help boost tourism and economic growth.
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