Could You Live in a Plastic-Bottle House?

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What if we could eradicate homelessness and plastic-bottle pollution in one fell swoop?

plastic bottle

Eco-Tec Founder Andreas Froese

Well, maybe we can.

All over the globe, plastic-bottle houses are popping up. And much of it is because of one man.

More than 15 years ago, German ecologist and engineer Andreas Froese developed the idea of plastic-bottle homes as a way to combat homelessness and inadequate housing in developing countries.

His company, Eco-Tec Environmental Solutions, uses a “bottle wall technique” to build homes and other structures around the globe. To date, they have completed more than 50 projects worldwide.

How Do They Do That?


© Andreas Froese/ECOTEC

The process is simple: Bottles are collected and filled with sand. Then they are stacked on their sides and bound together with mud or a cement mix, creating solid walls.

The structures are well-insulated, 20 times stronger than brick, fire-resistant, and even bulletproof. A typical two-bedroom home with a toilet, a kitchen, and a living room requires about 14,000 plastic bottles. It costs about one-fourth of what a conventional house would cost.

Take a look at this Ecotec house in Ecoparque El Zamorano, Honduras. The home was built with 8,000 plastic bottles. It has composting toilets and a solar water heating system.

eco-tec honduras Ecoparque Zamorano 3

Eco-Tec house in Ecoparque El Zamorano, Honduras.

It’s the first house in the world made from PET bottles without using cement in the walls. And yet, it’s still able to support a green roof that weighs up to 30 tons when wet.

Ecotec house in Ecoparque El Zamorano, Honduras, supports a green roof that weighs up to 30 tons when wet.

Ecotec house in Ecoparque El Zamorano, Honduras, supports a green roof that weighs up to 30 tons when wet.

All Eco-Tec structures are bio-climatic in design. In other words, when it’s cold outside, it’s warm inside and vice versa (much like adobe).

Building a water storage tank in India.

Building a water storage tank in India.

A Simple Solution for a Developing World

Based in Honduras, Eco-Tec has primarily built homes in Africa and Latin America. But they’ve also constructed water storage tanks in India.

And in Nigeria, a country with 16 million homeless, the firm has been training the locals on how to build their own plastic-bottle homes.

Meanwhile, in Serbia…

Brilliant minds think alike, and Eco-Tec is not the only game in town.

In 2006, Tomislav Radovanic, a retired math professor from central Serbia, also completed a plastic-bottle house. He has lived in the home, located in a small city about 80 miles south of Belgrade, for more than 10 years.

“The house is comfortable and it practically cost me nothing,” Radovanovic said, adding that the bottles are good insulators. The foundation is concrete, but all else is plastic. Gutters, windows, and even the furniture are all constructed from recycled bottles.

Click Here to take a brief tour of Radovanovic’s plastic-bottle house.

It Takes a Village

About 600 miles south of Eco-Tec headquarters, on a Panamanian island, sits a most unusual village. A plastic-bottle village, to be exact.


One significant advantage to Bezeau’s type of construction is its flexibility. His houses are highly resistant to earthquakes. And they even have a built-in fire extinguishing system.

Some of the homes being built in Bezeau’s village are quite elaborate:


Big Plans

According to, “The community is nestled into 83 acres of established jungle that stretches from the sea.”

Over the three phases of proposed development, the village will eventually consist of about 120 homes, as well as a small boutique and eco-lodge. The final phase of development will also include a yoga-exercise pavilion, hiking trails, and small manicured mini-parks for barbeques, and outdoor gatherings.

In addition, Bezeau is planning an international training center, designed to teach “individuals from different parts of the planet” how to reuse plastic bottles as construction materials for shelter.

The following video clip tells Bezeau’s amazing story and explains his vision:

Plastic Bottle Village from MEL Films on Vimeo.

Plastic for Food

downloadAnd that’s not all.

In May of last year, Bezeau launched a “Plastic for Food Barter Program.” The idea is for sponsors to supply non-perishable food items (such as rice, beans, wheat, sugar, salt, cooking oil, and other dry foods). Less fortunate families in Panama then exchange plastic bottles for the food.

The program is a win-win. It provides poor families with the opportunity to obtain food, while educating the locals about recycling, and creating an incentive to search for “plastic money” (PET bottles).

Community Effort


© Andreas Froese/ECOTEC

It takes community effort to construct these types of environmentally friendly structures. The bottles have to be collected through enormous cleanup efforts and recycling drives. And lots of hands are needed to fill bottles with sand.

Although plastic-bottle construction is primarily being used in developing countries right now, some believe that it makes perfect sense in every country that has high homeless numbers.

Coming to America?

For instance, just think of how many houses could be built with the 47.3 billion plastic bottles that end up in American landfills each year!

Let’s see…at 14,000 bottles per home…that would be almost 3.4 million homes.

That’s a lot of cheap housing that would help make this planet a better place for all of us to live.


Featured image © Andreas Froese/ECOTEC

Eco-Tec Environmental Solutions

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