Plastic bottles are everywhere: from water bottles, to soda bottles, and even to reusable bottles. Bottles that aren’t reused and are improperly discarded often end up in landfills or at the bottom of the ocean, and in the stomachs of a variety of animal species that mistake them for food.
According to the U.S National Park Service, it takes a plastic bottle 450 years to decompose. That’s a long time for even the smallest bottle. Regardless of some informative info graphics, statistics, and recycling projects, numerous nations – particularly the United States – keep on hurling plastics into landfills disregarding the impact to the environment and to us, humans.
Housing is a basic human need and in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, 16 million housing units are required to address this shortage which would demand a high budget. Building plastic bottle homes is the latest inventive approach to address this crisis, cut expenses and help the environment.
Established by Kaduna-based NGO Development Association for Renewable Energies (DARE), with the aid of London-based NGO Africa Community Trust, the project eliminates the problem with housing shortage and at the same time would benefit the environment. Solid waste pollution in landfills and the hazard it brings to animals will be minimized. The house is expected to generate zero carbon emissions.
According to a report published in Elitereaders, “To create a two-bedroom bottle house, workers start filling empty plastic bottles with sand and then holding them together using mud and cement. This forms a solid wall that is stronger than cinder blocks. In addition, it is completely powered by solar panels and methane gas from recycled human and animal waste.”
This colorful bullet-proof, fire-proof and earthquake-resistant house needs at least 14,000 bottles in order to be constructed. The buildings can be built to three stories, but no higher, due to the weight of the sand-filled bottles. And, of course, the magnificent diversity of recycled bottles give each house a unique and bright look.
Homeowners will be comfortable with the temperature inside the house all year round. The project has been successful in Nigeria, and could succeed in other places as well. Truly, this innovation from growing pile of garbage can change someone’s lives.