For many of us, eliminating plastic bottles from the daily activities presents a huge challenge. Even if we are 100% dedicated to not buy anything that comes in this eco-unfriendly packaging, circumstances sometimes leave us with no choice.
On average, a person will go through more than 14,000 plastic bottles in their life, which comes to about 15 bottles per month. Now, some would say that as long as these end up in recycling facilities everything is OK, but not all places around the world can afford such technology. Instead, the bottles end up in the environment, and remain there for hundreds of years.
A promising new initiative, called Plastic Bottle Village project, might just provide the solution to this huge environmental problem. The guys behind it have taken up the quest to construct an entire village out of used plastic bottles.
The plan is to build 120 family homes over 83 acres of land in the Bocas del Toro province of Panama. The plastic bottles will be embedded in the walls, providing cheap and highly effective insulation. Not only the building material is recycled, and kept away from landfills, it also provides a temperature controlling service. More precisely, the bottles help keeping the houses about 17 degrees cooler on the inside than the out.
The walls are the most unique feature of the houses. The core material is essentially the plastic bottles. These are contained within frames made of steel mesh and covered with concrete. All necessary plumbing and electrical wires are also hidden inside. When the construction is complete, the house resembles any conventional one- only it is much more eco-friendly.
Before moving on to the grand idea of building an entire village, the guys behind the project built their first building/palace, utilizing over 10,000 plastic bottles. These bottles were acquired through a recycling program set up by the project leader and creator of the idea, Robert Bezeau.
The Plastic Bottle Village project will be executed in three consecutive stages. In the end, the aim is to have 120 eco-friendly energy efficient houses made of plastic bottles. The plan also includes community gardens, play grounds and mini-parks, eco-lodge as well as a big research center, which will be working on finding means to handle plastic waste.
Now, we all know that the best way to deal with this problem is to simply not use plastic bottles. However, in those rare occasions when we do happen to buy our favorite soda from the shop, we should surely try to donate the bottle to such an incredible cause.
Image (c) Plastic Bottle Village