Tuscaloosa Mother Invents Eco-Friendly Pee Funnel
A Tuscaloosa mother is making it easier for pregnant people to monitor their health by creating one of the first disposable pee funnels on the market.
Abbi Jones is the inventor of EcoPi, a paper funnel designed to guide urine into a medical cup without getting any on your hands. This problem was discovered by Jones the hard way, and she asserts that it's more common than one may think.
“I knew the struggle I had in the bathroom, even before I was pregnant, because of the women’s anatomy, to aim into a small cup and nail it,” Jones said. “Then as my stomach grew with babies, especially in the last trimester, it was a disaster.”
Working as a pharmaceutical representative further exposed Jones to the issue that gathering a urine sample without unwanted fallout was practically impossible.
“I noticed almost every woman coming out of the bathroom was having to wash their hands, had a problem in the bathroom or was asking for another cup,” she said.
EcoPi renders "perfect aim" a nonessential, cleanly guiding urine into the desired target: the cup. This disposable product is eco-friendly, hence its name, as it is made out of paper.
“This project would have been easier with plastic, but I thought one-time-use plastic was so 1980s,” Jones said.
Graphic Packaging International saw the star-potential in Jones’ product and engineered a one-of-a-kind design, which they hope to sell internationally. Based on local reviews, this ambition is well within reach.
According to Jones, one client and OBGYN in Mobile, Alabama said once they offered EcoPi to their patients, they couldn’t take it away.
“I was able to connect with doctors and put the product in rehabilitation centers, assisted living homes and hospitals, and across the board, it was a huge hit,” Jones said.
Jones took a risk on EcoPi. The single mother of three left her well-paying job as a pharmaceutical representative to make it easier for others to use the restroom at the doctor’s office.
While COVID-19 made it harder for Jones to get in front of doctors, her business was invested in quickly and picked up by one of the biggest paper manufacturers in the industry. Social media helped with her reach, and next month she is set to meet with the CEO of St. Jude Children’s Hospital, among other large hospital chains.
With an international press release set to debut in June, Jones’ EcoPi looks to be a gamble worth betting on.
To follow Jones’ journey with EcoPi, visit EcoPi’s website here.