The Ruby cup and MHM experiences from Kenya

49.5k views

Page selection:
  • theJourney1
  • theJourney1's Avatar
  • Posts: 3
  • Likes received: 0

Re: The Ruby cup and MHM experiences from Kenya

First of all thanks for your quick response to our project,

We are 4 masters degree students (from different countries) enrolled in the Climate-KIC summerschool program called TheJourney. This program takes us from Paris to Zürich and finally Berlin. During this 5 week program we come into contact with experts in many fields regarding climate change and are asked to develop a business case around climate change.

In response to your comment, we already have come into contact with a company that is producing menstrual cups out of plastic material, rather then high-grade silicone rubber. Also we've had contact with several experts (ETH-Zürich) in the field of material science and found (for now) no reason to believe it couldn't be done. This is supported by the fact that there are already plastic menstrual cups out there.

Lastly, on the amount of recycled plastics issue; We believe that the potential market of this product is huge, and that for this reason the potential plastic savings are significant. Besides this, by transforming the recycled materials into this menstrual cup you remove the plastics from the environment for a very long time, as well as have major environmental benefits by removing the need for other sanitation products (tampons and/or pads).

So besides the technical feasability of this product, could you identify anymore possible barriers surrounding our product?


With kind regards,
Elleore(FR), Erik(NL), Miriam(CH) & Munya(DE)
Climate-KIC TheJourney Participants
Climate-KIC TheJourney 1
Summerschool Participants

Elleore, Erik, Miriam & Munya

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • Elisabeth
  • Elisabeth's Avatar
  • Moderator
  • Freelance consultant since 2012 (former roles: program manager at GIZ and SuSanA secretariat, lecturer, process engineer for wastewater treatment plants)
  • Posts: 3372
  • Karma: 54
  • Likes received: 931

Re: The Ruby cup and MHM experiences from Kenya

Hi there,
No, I don't think that is a good idea. A menstrual cup should be made of high-grade silicone rubber, nothing else. I cannot imagine that you could make one from recycled plastics that would be comfortable and safe to use.
In any case, the amount of plastic you could recycle would be miniscule in the scheme of things because one woman can use one single menstrual cup for 5 years or more!

By the way, you failed to mention which country you are from or where that summer school is?

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Freelance consultant on environmental and climate projects
Located in Ulm, Germany
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/elisabethvonmuench/

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • theJourney1
  • theJourney1's Avatar
  • Posts: 3
  • Likes received: 0

Re: The Ruby cup and MHM experiences from Kenya

Hello all,

It's good to see so much activity around this product. We, a group of master students from different nationalities are participating in a summerschool program. For this progam we are asked to come up with a sustainable business idea around which we should write a business model. Our first thoughts went after the recycling of plastic bags in rural areas and make useful, sustainable products from these recycled materials.

After some debate we are currently looking into the possibility of producing Menstrual Cups out of these recycled plastic materials. This would reduce the products environmental impact as well as deliver a usefull product that not only saves the environment but also has a very practical use.

Our question is what are your thoughts about this sustainable business idea. leaving aside the technical feasability (we are currently looking into those), would anyone be interested in such a sustainable product if we would be able to provide such a product for comparable costs?


With kind regards,
Elleore, Erik, Miriam & Munya
Climate-KIC TheJourney Participants
Climate-KIC TheJourney 1
Summerschool Participants

Elleore, Erik, Miriam & Munya

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • Maxie
  • Maxie's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • I have a passion for development through sustainable and fair business practices
  • Posts: 30
  • Karma: 6
  • Likes received: 27

Re: The Ruby cup and MHM experiences from Kenya

I would like to write a response to the WEDC fact sheet - Menstruation hygiene management for schoolgirls in low-income countries- by T. Croft that was published on sanitation updates (sanitationupdates.wordpress.com/2012/07/...ow-income-countries/) the other day. It is a factsheet about menstruation in developing countries and I have attached it to this blog post. We are happy and impressed with the amount of information the author has managed to convey in a very pedagogical and simple manner.

However, we were wondering about the text about tampons and menstrual cups. In the fact sheet, menstrual cups are apparently not a feasible alternative for girls and women in developing countries as they are too expensive and a poor solution due to practical and cultural reasons.

We sell Ruby Cups at an affordable price to girls and women in Kenya that earn a commission for each product sold. That way we create livelihoods and improve lives for girls and women in low income areas.

Regarding the cultural acceptability, a study by the APHRC has shown 97% acceptability of menstrual cups by girls and women in Kenya. In our experience, Ruby Cup is a highly demanded product and we have been introducing it to girls and women in both rural and urban areas with positive results.
Practical reasons: We agree that education about hygiene is essential when introducing Ruby Cup, no matter the location.

In water scarce areas, Ruby Cup is a great alternative to re-usable pads, as it only requires water for boiling once a month and clean hands before insertion and removal. The material is healthy and anti-septic, and it is cost-saving compared to buying pads every month. Re-usable pads require much water for washing, which is a challenge in some areas. Moreover, re-usable pads are not being dried outside where the sun can additionally sterilize them, since girls are ashamed of showing that they are on their period. As a result, the pads are being kept inside often under the bed/madras where it is humid and unhygienic. Also, Ruby Cup, as opposed to pads, is great for girls that have no panties as it can be used without underwear.

Menstrual cups are an increasingly preferred sustainable solution world wide, and we hope that Ruby Cup will give Kenyan women and girls yet another option to choose their preferred way of managing their period.

What do you think?
Maxie Matthiessen
Co-Founder of Ruby Cup by Makit Ltd
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+49 (0)176 2765 2953

www.ruby-cup.com
www.facebook.com/rubycup

This message has an attachment file.
Please log in or register to see it.

The following user(s) like this post: Elisabeth, tmsinnovation

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • cynthia
  • Posts: 1
  • Likes received: 3

Re: The Ruby cup and MHM experiences from Kenya

I love my diva cup and have used it for about 2 years now. However, I only use it when in Germany and leave it here whenever I travel back to kenya .
From my experience most household toilets do not have enough pressure to flush away the blood after emptying the cup. In such case one would have to wait for the water tank to fill up(which sometimes takes long) and then reflush. A worse scenario would be if there is a shortage of water.
I would be more comfortable using it in a house hold with a pit latrine, however washing my hands thereafter would be a problem if there is no flowing tap water. I wouldnt want to have to wash my 'blodied' hands in a basin.

I've tried promoting the cup to my friends who all worried about times of water shortage.
I think a good water supply will go a long way in encouraging women to start using menstrual cups which are a cheaper and environmentally friendly option!

Keep up the good work in kenya.
Cynthia
The following user(s) like this post: Elisabeth, Doreen, Maxie

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • Maxie
  • Maxie's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • I have a passion for development through sustainable and fair business practices
  • Posts: 30
  • Karma: 6
  • Likes received: 27

Re: The Ruby cup and MHM experiences from Kenya

A good question. We have been investigating that but currently no proper benchmarks exist, i.e. how much CO2 tampons and pads produce per product. We would have to investigate that with a company that can certify products in regards to their Co2 emissions. I bet Ruby Cup would beat always and O.B. by far!! We will keep you updated if we find out more information.
Happy greetings!Maxie
Maxie Matthiessen
Co-Founder of Ruby Cup by Makit Ltd
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+49 (0)176 2765 2953

www.ruby-cup.com
www.facebook.com/rubycup

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • Maxie
  • Maxie's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • I have a passion for development through sustainable and fair business practices
  • Posts: 30
  • Karma: 6
  • Likes received: 27

Re: The Ruby cup and MHM experiences from Kenya

Jürgen, Ruby Cup is made out of medical grade silicone, which is a material that does not interact with the body at all. It is anti-septic and has a life span of at least 10 years. Hope this clarifies :-)
Maxie Matthiessen
Co-Founder of Ruby Cup by Makit Ltd
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+49 (0)176 2765 2953

www.ruby-cup.com
www.facebook.com/rubycup
The following user(s) like this post: jkeichholz

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • Maxie
  • Maxie's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • I have a passion for development through sustainable and fair business practices
  • Posts: 30
  • Karma: 6
  • Likes received: 27

Re: The Ruby cup and MHM experiences from Kenya

Hi all,

Here is a quick up-date from a rather chilly Nairobi (the weather has been unusually cold over the last few days).

Despite the meteorological downsides, spirits are high and we are happy to report that our first badge of Ruby Cups has arrived safely from the factory in China. After a long wait we were able to see them life today and now have some here at the house, ready for distribution with our sales women tomorrow.

Some of them will go to Kibera and Kuwangware where we did house visits earlier this week. It was a truly thought provoking visit to venture so far into the neighborhood and experience the differences in standards of living, also among the inhabitants, with our own eyes. The visit has given us a better idea of the conditions under which our products might be used, something which is very helpful for our development of the information available and training of the sales women. Next week we will continue the Ruby Cup distribution in Korogocho.

Another positive report is one of a visit at Saint John’s School in Kibera where we last week saw 15 girls together with their parents and got their consent to try out the Ruby Cup (see the picture) Working together with the families is an important part of getting a strong support and understanding of the product. Besides our Ruby Cup instructions for Use that are included in the package, on top of that we now also have the educational material with information about menstrual and general hygiene, basic reproductive health, myths and facts and a menstrual calendar that the girls can use.

As some of you might have noticed it is now possible to buy the Ruby Cup online via our website, ruby-cup.com/ . This way girls and women in other countries to support our mission and outreach on the ground.

Finally, I would like to share with you the great news that we won the Venture Cup for the most promising start up in Scandinavia and came second at Future Impact Prize 2012 in Lugano, Switzerland. We are very grateful for tese acknowledgements, which give us an extra push and motivation for Ruby Cup social business.

Also, we were invited to Tedx in Kibera and held a presentation in front of the slum inhabitants about Ruby Cup. We will be featured in their local radio, PamojaFM, and this was a great pooortunity to spread knowledge abour Ruby Cup.
Maxie Matthiessen
Co-Founder of Ruby Cup by Makit Ltd
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+49 (0)176 2765 2953

www.ruby-cup.com
www.facebook.com/rubycup
Attachments:
The following user(s) like this post: Elisabeth, tmsinnovation

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • Elisabeth
  • Elisabeth's Avatar
  • Moderator
  • Freelance consultant since 2012 (former roles: program manager at GIZ and SuSanA secretariat, lecturer, process engineer for wastewater treatment plants)
  • Posts: 3372
  • Karma: 54
  • Likes received: 931

Re: The Ruby cup and MHM experiences from Kenya

Just to follow up from my posting here under this thread on 19 May:
We now also have the video of Moma's presentation on Menstrual Hygiene Management in Africa at the Africa Water Week in Cairo available here:



For those interested in menstrual cups, jump towards the end, and listen also to the questions and discussion after her presentation.

Enjoy! (sorry, the lighting was not ideal, it is hard to make out Moma's face. Sorry about that)
All the other 14 video clips from the Africa Water Week are available here now:
www.susana.org/lang-en/meetings/may-2012-cairo-no-15

Regards,
Elisabeth

(P.S. Trevor: it might be helpful to others if you explain what is meant with the abbreviation "C2C certified" and a brief background to your question maybe.)
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Freelance consultant on environmental and climate projects
Located in Ulm, Germany
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/elisabethvonmuench/
The following user(s) like this post: Doreen

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • jkeichholz
  • jkeichholz's Avatar
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 123
  • Karma: 4
  • Likes received: 75

Re: The Ruby cup and MHM experiences from Kenya

A good question, Trevor! Let me find out...
Juergen Eichholz
watsan eng.
water, sanitation, IT & knowledge management
www.saniblog.org

Toilets in Frankfurt/Main www.facebook.com/ffmtoi

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • tmsinnovation
  • tmsinnovation's Avatar
  • Moderator
  • I manage the Decentralized Wastewater Management for Adaptation to Climate Change in Jordan (ACC Project) and previously coordinated the Climate-friendly sanitation services in peri-urban areas of Lusaka project in Zambia. My background is in Management, Economics and Information Systems.
  • Posts: 162
  • Karma: 4
  • Likes received: 53

Re: The Ruby cup and MHM experiences from Kenya

Do you think that "ruby cups" or other similar products could have a good chance to be C2C certified?
Trevor Surridge
Decentralized Wastewater Management for Adaptation to Climate Change in Jordan (ACC Project)
Project Manager

Deutsche Gesellschaft für
Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Shmeisani,
Amman
Jordan
The following user(s) like this post: jkeichholz

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • jkeichholz
  • jkeichholz's Avatar
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 123
  • Karma: 4
  • Likes received: 75

Re: The Ruby cup and MHM experiences from Kenya

Yes, but the only thing I still like to have more research on is the silicone rubber and how it will interact with the human body. Or maybe not the rubber, but the oil around it that softens the silicone.

I know from the company I currently work at (who are doing chemical assessments for products) that we don't approve of or recommend products made out of silicone, especially those baking pans. Probably with the monthly cooking and frequent washes an interaction/reaction of the silicone is already prevented or reduced to a minimum.

Naa, thinking about it, the glue contained in commercial napkins is probably more aggressive.
Juergen Eichholz
watsan eng.
water, sanitation, IT & knowledge management
www.saniblog.org

Toilets in Frankfurt/Main www.facebook.com/ffmtoi
The following user(s) like this post: tmsinnovation

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
Page selection:
Share this thread:
Recently active users. Who else has been active?
Time to create page: 0.102 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum