This man from Assam is making eco-friendly bamboo water bottles to reduce plastic use
Dhritiman Bohra is manufacturing organic bamboo bottles from 'bhaluka', a variety of bamboo. It takes him around five hours to make a bottle.
Today, one of the biggest challenges for many of us is to replace plastic products with eco-friendly alternatives in our daily lives. From water bottles to food containers, the use of plastic is widespread. Despite being aware of the harmful effects of the use of plastic on our health and the environment, we are unable to switch to eco-friendly options.
To tackle the plastic menace and reduce the use of plastic in our daily lives, Dhritiman Borah has come up with an innovative solution. The 36-year-old from Assam is manufacturing bamboo bottles as an alternative to plastic.
The bottles, which are priced between Rs 200 and Rs 450, are completely handmade, and made from bhaluka, which is a bamboo variety.
Dhritiman’s interest towards sustainability, however, didn’t start all of a sudden. According to him, it was instilled in his life at an early age, following which he started his own company at the age of 16.
With 18 years of experience in craftsmanship, Dhritiman is now running the family business with his younger brother, Gaurav Bora, reports Northeast Now.
It wasn’t easy for Dhritiman to achieve the feat within such a short period. It took him over a decade to get the right material and design for the bottle.
Each bottle takes around five hours to make, right from cutting the bhaluka, to boiling, drying, smoking, joining the separate parts, and finishing it. The boiling further purifies and strengthens the wall around the hollow part of the bamboo, which helps the bottle to last at least 18 months.
Dhritiman also faced challenges initially to sell his bottles to the masses as he didn’t find any buyers for the first time when he displayed it at a Delhi Expo. Speaking to The Hindu, he said,
“The first order for 200 bottles came from the UK eight months ago. The buyer wanted raw bottles, which means no colour or gloss on them. Until then, I had been coating the bottles with an expensive US-made waterproof oil polish till then.”
Now, Dhritiman only coats his bottle as per the requirements of the clients, in which he uses a coating of camphor and mustard oil for protection during the logistics.
Since it is handmade, the buyers are impressed and often ask for the smoked effect on the bottle top.
“My unit is at home and I source 100-150 bhaluka locally every month. But the challenge lies in getting machinery or tools from Guwahati, the nearest commercial centre, and dispatching the finished products. We are currently producing about 1,500 bamboo bottles a month, way below the demand. If we had a lathe machine, a larger dryer, and other tools, we could produce about 8,000 a month. But that is quite a lot of investment."
For now, Dhritiman’s plan is to apply for a patent for his organic bottle design. When asked about Chinese bottles, he told The Hindu, “Mine is organic, theirs is not, which is why they cannot patent it."
(Edited by Megha Reddy)