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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
About 600 miles south of Eco-Tec headquarters, on a Panamanian island, sits a most unusual village. A plastic-bottle village, to be exact.
According to plasticbottlevillage.com, “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:
Featured image © Andreas Froese/ECOTEC