Disposable Toilet Mug
A collapsible one-use mug meant for washing after using public lavatories on India’s trains. Designed and prototyped by Paul Sandip in 2004 for Indian Railways, which is a statutory body under the ownership of the Ministry of Railways, Government of India that operates India’s national railway system with 7349 stations and a total track length of 128,305 kilometers.
This is a common site of a lavatory inside the Indian Railways. Indians prefer to use water to wash after defecation, instead of using toilet paper. But, there’s no product catering to this need, so people carry empty water bottles or teacups. Water is supplied on the trains, with taps in each public lavatory. But without containers, it’s useless to travelers.
In rare cases where you will find a metal mug to hold the water that you want to use to wash after defecation.
If you are lucky, you might find a mug, but soon you will realize that the length of the chain to which it is tied is so small that the mug when filled with water will not reach the desired destination without spilling all over your body. Remember all this while the train is moving and you have a balancing act to perfom!
The Disposable toilet mug is hand folded in a particular type of paper which has both the strength to withstand 1.2 liters of water and can also be glued with organic glue. The property of the paper allows the mug to disintegrate after some point in time.
The geometry of the folds allow the mug to be easily used by both left and right handed users.
The mug when folded fits easily into your pocket and can be easily taken into the lavatory and be used whenever you wish to wash after defecation.
The Disposible Mug is an inexpensive solution designed to be purchased right on the train platform. It is foldable and environmentally friendly – so it can be easily and safely thrown away.
The Big Picture
The mug is designed with such simple folding technique that it can be easily taught to kids also. The idea is to have it manufactured by the people who live in slums by the train lines and work as rag pickers. This would give them something to sell and makes the product accessible all over the country.
India’s national railway system has 7349 stations with a total track length of 128,305 kilometers.
The Disposable Mug won a lot of design and innovation awards both in India as well as globally. Paul Sandip, designer of the toilet mug was honored with the title “Designpreneur” by Shri Narendra Modi in 2005.
The Mug had won the Business World Design Excellence Award 2004 and was also shortlisted for its potential Social Impact by Index Award in 2009.
The Mug is displayed in the permanent collection of Danish Design Museum in Denmark as an example of “Design to Improve Life”.