Rather than discarding used plastic bottles, an innovative couple in a remote village of Bangladesh's Lalmonirhat district, have recycle thousands of colourful bottles to build an eco-friendly house.
The couple -- Rashedul Alam and Asma Khatun -- were students of environmental science. They constructed the 1700-square feet house entirely of plastic bottles in a bid to make an ecological house for their only son who is differently-abled. This is the first time such a house has been constructed in Bangladesh.
Associate professor of the architecture department of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) said, "There are many examples of building bottle houses in the world. This is the first time I came to know that one has been built in Bangladesh."
"It's undoubtedly an environment-friendly creation."
The Rashedul-Asma couple said they begun construction of the house on 8 February this year. As much as 80 per cent of the house has already been completed."
The construction of the house is set to be completed in a month’s time.
The couple said a total of 80, 000 plastic bottles, filled with sand, has been used to erect the house of four bedrooms, a kitchen, a dining room and two washrooms.
The house also includes a veranda, they said.
The bottle walls were cemented with an alloy of sand and cement while the structural frame is made of brick chips and iron rods.
The doors and windows are of steel and wood while roof will be of corrugated tin sheets.
How did they manage to gather such a large number of bottles?
The 33-year-old Rashedul said they bought the plastic bottles from BSCIC industrial zone authorities and local bottle pedlars.
"It was difficult to persuade the local construction workers to build such a house."
Asma Khatun said it went public once a photo of the house was uploaded on Facebook.
"Now people are coming to us and asking about the construction costs and its advantages."
Lalmonirhat BSCIC area's plastic bottle seller Hamidul Islam said, "I never heard of such a thing. Rashedul Alam bought several thousand of plastic bottles from me."
Kaliganj upazila's LGED engineer Parvez Newaz Khan said this kind of house costs less.
The government engineer pointed to the possibility of research and government policy in this regard.
*This piece, originally published in Prothom Alo Bangla edition, has been rewritten in English by Toriqul Islam.