Plastic bottles make up a huge proportion of waste on our planet, and recycling them properly should be a priority. In a unique effort to do just that, a group in Panama is planning to construct an entire village out of discarded plastic bottles. The project is called Plastic Bottle Village and the idea was proposed by Robert Bezeau, an entrepreneur from Canada.
The village will be made up of 90 to 120 homes and they will all be insulated with plastic bottles. So the amount of plastic bottles recycled this way should number in the thousands. The village is located on an 83 acre (33.5 ha) of land in the Panama jungle. Phase one of the construction began in 2015 and it is still underway. So far, only a single one story home has been finished, but two larger, two story homes are almost finished too.
To build the single completed home, they used more than 10,000 PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles. They expect to use from 10,000 to 25,000 for each of the homes that they still need to build. The construction of the homes starts by first making a steel cage, which is then filled with the bottles. Once this is set in place, electrical wires and plumbing are added. Concrete is then used to cover the cage, and finally the home is finished by adding windows, a roof, a septic tank, and other necessities.
According to the project managers, using plastic bottles for insulation is not only a great way of recycling them, but also leads to a more cost effective and faster construction of the homes, as compared to the traditional method of building in the area. They also claim that the insulation is so good there is no need for air conditioning, while the homes are also highly earthquake-resistant.
They are offering the homes for pre-purchase at this time, and there are three different home styles to choose from. Prices start at $149,000 and go up to $300,000. Apart from building the village, they are also raising funds via a GoFundMe campaign, to build an education center, dormitories and a cafeteria in the village.