Using 14,000 plastic bottles and some mud, you can make a two-bedroom house with a kitchen, bathroom and living room. Not bad considering you will also be helping save the environment and at a quarter of the cost of a conventional home.
Australians spend over $500 million on bottled water every year, according to Cool Australia. A lot of effort and resources goes into getting a nice cool plastic bottle of water. All the pumping, packaging, transporting, chilling etc. before we actually drink it accumulates to over 60,000 tons of greenhouses gases a year in Australia alone. These are scary statistics that face the majority of countries in the world.
However, throughout Africa and Latin America they are looking for alternative uses for plastic bottles rather than being added to a landfill and in the process constructing houses for the homeless.
The “bottle wall technique” was developed by German firm Ecotec Environmental Solutions. They have been training people in Nigeria, a country that has a large number of homeless people, to construct these bottle homes. The construction process is relatively easy. Empty plastic bottles are collected, filled with dry soil or construction waste, stacked on their sides and bound together with either mud or a cement mixture. The finished product is a wall that is well insulated, 20 times stronger than brick, fire resistant and even bullet proof.
Creating these houses may seem easy, but they require the whole community to get involved especially when it comes to collecting a minimum of 14,000 plastic bottles to make just one house.
There is also an Ecotec house in Ecoparque El Zamorano, Honduras. It was constructed with 8,000 bottles and cement. It also has a green roof that weighs up to 30 tons when wet, so you can understand how strong these plastic bottles can be. Various Ecotec sheds, benches, office partitions, greenhouses and community centres have also been making an appearance in the U.S., Tokyo, and Europe.
These plastic bottle homes are a great initiative that are not only helping the environment, but are focusing on assisting people who are the most in need of a home.