Toilet paper is the post-toilet self-cleaning method of choice for most Western countries (though the bidet is also popular), but many Indians prefer to use water to clean themselves. At the same time, many Indians often find themselves riding cramped trains that provide bathrooms with tap water, but no toilet mug for self-cleaning because of rampant vandalism. The solution? Paul Sandip’s Disposable Mug, a biodegradable, foldable cup that the designer imagines could one day be sold by local vendors at train platforms.
The Mug, which is a contender for the half a million Euro Index Award, is made from a type of paper that can withstand up to 1.2 liters water and can be held together with organic glue. Sandip has already test-marketed his mug on one of the state railway’s longest lines. The next step is to find sponsors to pay for the the glue and paper in exchange for printed advertisements on the side of the mug.
Eventually, Sandip imagines that the Mug could be produced by people who live in slums near train lines. That way, the Mug is produced locally and provides employment to impoverished citizens. It’s a cheap, simple solution to a widespread problem–and one that could easily gain speed if Sandip figures out a way to educate citizens on the proper disposal of his biodegradable toilet cup.