Research leads to new toilet standard for nature areas
27 May 2021,Amersfoort - Research by the Toilet Alliance shows that there are far too few public and open toilets in Dutch nature and recreation areas. As a result, many people cannot enjoy nature without care. After the earlier toilet standard for city and village centres and busy pedestrian areas (a toilet every 500 metres), the Toilet Alliance today launches a toilet standard for nature and recreation areas:
A toilet every 25 km along cycle paths and one every 5 km along footpaths.
Crowded nature, but lack of toilets
Bernique Tool, Director of the Maag Lever Darm Stichting: "We have rediscovered nature en masse recently. Many new nature-lovers have then discovered what we actually knew all along: that there are almost no toilets in the countryside. This prevents people from going out.
According to the study, published today in a white paper, toilets in nature reserves abroad are much more normal. In North America, Australia and New Zealand, but also in the Alpine countries, recreational users have been accustomed to toilets without a water flush for years. In the Netherlands too, there are many creative possibilities, but these are hardly ever used; for the time being, it is mainly a matter of opening toilets in visitor centres. This has led to all the problems associated with paper handkerchiefs and trampled plants along the paths. "With this toilet standard in hand, provinces, site managers and recreation boards can get to work. So that cyclists and walkers can be certain that they will encounter a toilet every one to one and a half hours, " says Tool.
More and more municipalities are making agreements with hotels, restaurants, shops and service providers about opening up toilets to passers-by with a high need. These entrepreneurs often indicate this with a sticker on the door and a mention in the HogeNood app. Hjalmar Duif, spokesperson for HogeNood: "Fortunately, we are now seeing more and more authorities in rural areas making these agreements. For example, the North Holland Recreation Authority now lists many toilets in the app. You can put dry toilets in places where there are no catering facilities. If you then put this in the app, it is also easy for holidaymakers to find.
One in four people with a digestive disease say they regularly stay at home for fear of not being able to find a toilet. This can and must change. Together with municipalities, shopkeepers and hospitality businesses, the Toilet Alliance wants to ensure that this is properly regulated in the Netherlands. In cities, villages and in the countryside.
The initiative for the Toilet Alliance was taken by the Gastric Liver Intestine Foundation. The Toilet Alliance consists of more than twenty social organisations and its mission is to have sufficient public toilets in the Netherlands before 2023. So that there is always a toilet nearby for the 2 million people with a digestive disease, the 1.5 million bladder patients and everyone who needs a toilet now and then.