Image: Ajay Banyal

Spiti is a land of miracles, not just for the wild landscapes, gushing perennial rivers, and cultural warmth; it is also a land of opportunity for those who see it right. Eight-year-old Tenzin Chortan (name as heard in the video) is a fine example of the same. The child, guided by his father, is showing more than a few of us how conveniently plastic waste can be repurposed.

In Lingti village (located northeast of Kaza) in Spiti, little Tenzin has been collecting whatever plastic waste – chips, biscuit packets etc he gets – and is filling it into plastic bottles of soft drinks and packaged water for almost six months now.

On being asked (as heard in the video) how he got about this habit; shy Tenzin standing alongside his younger sister (presumably), informs that his father got him into this habit of collecting plastic trash and filling it up into the bottles. The video may suggest that he is filling bottles with trash the locality is creating, but we beg to differ. We believe it’s also the casual waste tourists and visitors to these remote parts of Spiti tend to toss out of the vehicles.

At the outset, the idea may seem very petty to most of us. However, this kid is doing what has been one of the biggest zero waste hacks in recent memory.

Tenzin is eventually creating bottle bricks by stuffing landfill trash into plastic bottles. Such compressed plastic bottle bricks can be used for construction. It may sound moronic, but the idea has been materialized to perfection in different places across the world.

This child is making compressed plastic bottle bricks ready for alternative construction in Spiti. Hats off to him!