The Plastic Bottle Village is an innovative idea that might eventually save the Earth from drowning in our over-consumption of plastic. It’s a planned 83-acre community in Panama that, as the name suggests, is going to be entirely built out of discarded plastic bottles.
Located on Isla Colón in Panama’s Bocas del Toro province, The Plastic Bottle Village will include approximately 120 homes all of which will be varying sizes and will use plastic bottles as its main insulation. The design process will begin with building frames of rebar and steel mesh are then filled with used plastic bottles. After various electrical and plumping lines are inserted the plastic walls are covered by concrete, both inside and out. In the end, the finished homes will look just like conventional ones, without any plastic exposed. The homes also come equipped with a septic tank system, standard windows, doors, and an exterior sidewalk.
The Plastic Bottle Village was founded by Robert Bezeau, who moved to Bocas from Canada 7 years ago to set up several environmental projects. Having founded a recycling program in 2012, he started to think of how they could be put to use. Soon enough, he decided to use them to build houses, and came up with a basic idea for the construction process.
According to the project’s website, more than 10,000 plastic bottles were used in the first building, which was constructed last year and the next home which is already under construction will use even more. The site continues to say that on average we consume up to 15 or more plastic bottles per month and will go through some 14,000+ bottles in their lifetime – and by building a two-story plastic bottle house, that same amount of bottles could be removed from the environment and put into service as insulation, effectively neutralizing that plastic footprint. Obviously, not using those tens of thousands of plastic bottles in the first place would be a much better choice, but considering how plastic bottles are still highly consumed, using some of them in this way might be a decent solution, especially in areas without adequate facilities or with high removal costs and additional recycling challenges.
Find out more about the project visit their website Plastic Bottle Village.
By Cheyenne Tulsa