Environment

Can Eco-Friendly Plastic Bottle Houses Eradicate Homelessness & Plastic Pollution?

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Can Plastic Bottles Eradicate Homelessness & Plastic Pollution?

The problem of plastics is nothing new. A 2010 report by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association noted that plastics make up as much as 80% of marine waste in oceans throughout the world. Furthermore, plastic bottles are among the most notorious culprits of environmental pollution and are the third most popular marine debris item collected from the ocean floor.

plastic pollution graph

Image: Cloud Front

Why Is Plastic A Problem For Us?

It’s a well-known fact that plastic is an environmental pollutant, hazardous to wild animals who choke on plastic bottles and bags. Unlike paper which can be composted and glass which is crushed and reused, plastic bottles require approximately 450 years to decompose in a landfill. The only solution is to come up with ways to reuse plastics and sustain the environment.

Scientists predict that if plastic pollution continues on this course, it will eventually be consumed by humans. As microscopic plastic molecules are absorbed into the ocean, it’s consumed by fish and birds and is slowly creeping into the food chain. The unnerving result will be humans consuming plastic through wildlife food sources. It’s never been more important to find a way to reuse plastics in a sustainable way.

plastic bottle house

Image: Imgur

Recycling Plastic Bottles On A Large Scale

The focus for many environmental organizations has shifted from recycling plastic to repurposing plastic on a large scale. According to the Ban The Bottle Campaign, Americans use 50 billion plastic bottles each year and only 23 percent are recycled, leaving approximately 38 million bottles to rot in landfills. Organizations like Plastic2Oil, which turns plastic into low-sulphur fuel, have devised creative ways to recycle plastic on a larger scale.

Residents of Nigeria now use recycled plastic bottles to create fireproof, earthquake-proof and bulletproof homes. Nigeria is currently undergoing a housing crisis, with an estimated 16 million homes needed to eradicate homelessness. The Development Association for Renewable Energies (DARE) and the now-defunct Africa Community Trust proposed a project, which has created eco-friendly homes created from plastic bottles.

Each eco-friendly home is built with 14,000 plastic bottles and emits zero carbon emissions through its use of solar power. Homes are built up to three stories high with layers of plastic water bottles filled with sand and sealed with a mixture of mud and cement producing a natural insulation that maintains a cool indoor temperature year round.

Are Plastic Homes The Future?

Environmental consultant Andreas Froese has introduced the homes to South America through his company ECOTEC, where he conducts workshops in building eco-friendly plastic bottle homes, septic tanks and water reserves. According to the ECOTEC website, more than 300,000 bottles have been used in 50 construction projects. ECOTEC has taken the project a step further by further reducing pollutants like cement. Instead, ECOTEC recommends using plastic bottles supported with iron reinforcements.

With the growing issue of homelessness in highly industrialized and developing countries alike, homes constructed with recycled plastic bottles and other raw materials seems to be a viable solution to homelessness and plastic pollution.