Urinals designed by students have made their school a healthier environment. Photo: A Better India

Five middle school students have been awarded a cash prize for addressing a hygiene problem by designing a low-cost urinal made out of a 20-liter plastic water bottle.

The students at Union Middle School in Tiruchy, Tamil Nadu, came up with the idea after several students became sick because of the smell of urine emanating from the toilet. The boys relieved themselves onto the floor and then tracked urine into other parts of the school.

Their design for the environmentally friendly urinal earned them a Rs50,000 (US$770) prize in a national design competition, Design for Change.

They cut the plastic bottles longitudinally and painted them white to make them look like conventional urinals. They have installed them in the boys’ toilet, which has greatly improved hygiene at the school.