Dutch Trains Substitute Plastic Bags for Bathrooms

October 12, 2011 - 1:19 PM

Amsterdam (AP) - The Dutch national railway has an unusual solution for passengers who need the bathroom on a train line designed without them: plastic bags.

The rail operator underlined that the bags, introduced Friday, are for use in emergencies only, when a train has stopped and passengers can't be evacuated. The idea has been met with incredulity by politicians and the general public already unhappy with the short-haul "Sprinter" trains' bathroomless design.

NS spokesman Eric Trinthamer confirmed Friday the "pee-bag" plan is not a joke. The bags are kept out of sight in the conductor's booth.

The bags have a cup-shaped plastic top and contain a highly absorbent material that turns urine into a gel-like mixture. After use the bags can be sealed and thrown in the trash.