Deepti Sharma, a school teacher in Meerut, has built a unique house with her husband at Hartola village in Uttarakhand's Nainital district, using plastic bottles.
Abhishek Anand, the co-owner of the house, said: "We bought land and started building the house in February 2017 and it took us almost one-and-a-half years to construct the whole place."
He said that during a trip to Lansdowne in 2016, they had decided that they wanted to have a house in the mountains and not in Noida or Ghaziabad.
"That is when we started planning this project and we bought the land in 2017 and started work. The cost of building the house was nearly Rs 1.5 lakh, including labour and raw materials. Over 26,000 bottles were used to make the four-room home stay," said Deepti.
She said that used plastic bottles were found in abundance in the mountains since tourists rarely bother to carry back the plastic waste.
According to the couple, they travel frequently to the mountains and every time they go to a place, they are just disappointed to see the amount of plastic waste that is generated in the mountains without any scope of recycling or proper disposal.
"That is when it struck us that we wanted to do something using plastic that is generated in the mountains. We believe that either people should recycle plastic in the mountains or take back the plastic waste generated by them, but not harm the mountains with all the waste," said Deepti Sharma.
The couple used plastic bottles to build patches of walls which were then joined together to make a whole wall. For one patch of wall, 100 bottles were tied together and then covered with mesh wire to keep it intact. Apart from plastic, they used old tyres for the flooring and stairs.
Whiskey bottles were used to make lamps for the house, which can accommodate eight people. The place has four different rooms of 10 feet by 11 feet.
The couple is also building a system for rainwater harvesting in this house and want to construct a 10,000-litre tank where the rainwater could be harvested for the entire village.
Talking of the benefits of the unique house, besides the low cost, the couple said that they were not only able to reuse plastic but also found that plastic helps in better insulation from cold.
Once the project is fully complete, the couple plans to use it as a home stay.
"We will approach officials and spread the word on how this technique can be used to make houses, shops and even public toilets," said Deepti.