Here one of those objects for which I have mixed feelings: it could be interesting, but at the same time it is a way of (not) dealing with the problem that I do not fully agree with.
I'm talking about Petal, a bin designed to freeze your waste. For an equivalent of less than € 0.90 per month in electricity costs, Petal is a bin that “quickly and conveniently freezes potentially hazardous and noxious waste so it doesn't spread germs and doesn't dirty your home”.
What are the advantages of a bin that freezes waste?
Dispose of dirty nappies (for young and old), food scraps, feminine hygiene products, pet waste and anything else that stinks with the knowledge that the home environment will remain fresh and clean. Clearly not in the same bin, separate the waste otherwise we are no longer friends!
Bin freezes waste less hassle in composting
Using leftover food to make compost should be universal practice. Point. Petal allows you to easily put away the leftovers of food eliminating the annoyances of fruit flies, rodents, tampering with pets, “leachate” and bad smells. If they can't smell, they can't find it. It also applies to small children who are always curious (and in fact there is a specific block for them).
Stop the spread of diseases and microbial threats
The freezing of harmful bacteria and viruses renders them inert without generating bacterial resistance (super germs). Petal also allows you to put away masks, gloves and discarded medical waste with ease and peace of mind.
And now we come to my usual doubts
My first problem with these proposed use cases is with food scraps and composting. If this device was designed solely to freeze leftover food for a subsequent composting cycle, sure, that's not bad. But doesn't mixing it with the other aforementioned waste eliminate the possibility of composting?
The second problem: I understand that dirty diapers, used tampons and many types of trash stink. But I feel like we have solved these problems by putting the lids on the garbage cans. Yes, when you open the lid, you sometimes get a bad smell; to solve it we create another object that consumes energy (ok, little but it consumes). An object that contains refrigerant (ok, "ecologically sustainable refrigerant", but safe?)
I would say that roughly once a day, all of us (scientists, artists, advertisers who blog about the future) go to the bathroom and produce what is widely considered to be the most unpleasant smell in the world. But we have recognized that this is what our body produces and we have learned to deal with it.
The general systemic problem I am referring to is that our society produces a lot of garbage. Some of this trash stinks, and I'm not sure we should get used to that. At least with food, we should address it by generating less waste or by developing widespread and universally available composting systems.
However, to break a frozen spear in Petal's favor: I understand some things, we don't need to smell. I recently listened to a radio show in which the host said she spent her adolescence caring for her mother, who was paralyzed. He said the house constantly smelled of piss; her mother's diapers piled up in the bins until garbage day and the smell pervaded the house. I have a little girl, I have had to deal with diapers. All very bearable, but I think others in my place would still find Petal beneficial.