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UV Protection and Color for Your Units

Two important features that affect the durability and appearance of portable toilets are built right in – UV protection and color. Both are added in the manufacturing (extrusion) process by mixing sophisticated chemical additives and pigments with the polyethylene resin (plastic) used to make the units. Another method is for them to be added to the resin pellets during the blow-molding process.

UV Protection

Ultraviolet radiation is not kind to porta-potties. Plastics degrade (their molecules basically break apart) when exposed to UV rays from the sun. In portable restrooms, the results are discoloration or fading of color (bleaching effect), cracking, brittleness and loss of strength. The longer the units are exposed to the sun, the greater the damage.

UV protection is like sunscreen for your units. The additives absorb the UV radiation and scatter the energy. The protection depends on how much sun and humidity the unit is exposed to. There are units that are more than 30 years old that look brand new. Others with poor UV protection might be faded in 3 years.

Most models of major manufacturers have UV protection. When purchasing a new unit, do some research on the manufacturer’s website or talk to your supplier about UV protection.


Color is that one special feature of your porta-potties that can have your customers tickled pink and give you a golden opportunity to show your blue-ribbon quality while making it a red-letter day for your business and helping keep you in the black while turning your competitors green with envy.

In other words, color is something you should pay attention to!

The bright, vibrant color of a portable sanitation unit can enhance the event and your business in several ways:

  • Gives the unit a look of quality and your business a look of professionalism
  • Distinguishes your brand from competitors
  • Makes it easier to find the units at the event
  • Brightens and adds appeal to the event environment
  • Separates facilities for men and women
  • Matches the theme or color scheme of an event, such as a wedding

Any color can be added to plastic in the manufacturing process. For example, PolyJohn offers 15 colors (aqua, blue, dark blue, evergreen, light gray, lime, orange, pewter, pink, purple, red, tan, verdant, white and yellow). Operators often build their brands around their toilet colors.

Customers like a choice, and many operators use this to their advantage. Pink is the preferred color for women-only porta-potties, while one company offers a purple potty designed just for children. Green is often chosen for wooded settings.

Long associated with water, blue is a perennial front-runner as most popular color. In interior design, blue is said to create a sense of peace and tranquility. It’s a cool, soothing color that symbolizes cleanliness and freshness.

Colors are stable against heat and light, meaning they will stay bright for a long time. However, certain colors resist fading better than others. When buying a new unit, you may want to talk to your distributor or the manufacturer about the stability of the color or colors you want.

After many years, when colors show noticeable fading, the units may be less appealing to your event market, but you can still use them to your best advantage:

  • At construction sites or farms
  • As a backup or emergency unit
  • For spare parts

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