A Village Made of Plastic

Daniel Fraga
May 13th 2016

Probably the house in which you live was built using some kind of plastic. In fact, plastic of all types is all around us, from our computers to our water bottles. It's one of the most flexible materials known to man. But, as you probably know, the amount of plastic waste humans produce is immense, and most of it ends up polluting the environment and endangering wildlife. Yet in this case, one man's trash is another man's treasure. A canadian entrepreneur is trying to help reduce plastic pollution by building a village made out of plastic in Panama.

In average, people can consume 15 or more drinks in plastic bottles a month. If you were born after 1978, and live until 80 years old, you will have left behind at least of 14.400 plastic bottles. These bottles take hundreds of years to break down into small pieces, which hardly ever disappear. Most of the waste ends up being consumed by birds, fishes and other sea creatures, with terrible effects on their health, well being and lifespan.

Robert Bezeau is at the forefront of the Plastic Bottle Village, a project which aims to built between 90 to 120 homes using plastic bottles and steel framing as main construction materials.

Construction has now begun, in an 83 acres area in the jungle of Panama. The first phase of the process began in late 2015, using bottles gathered under a recycling system that Bezeau led in Boca del Toro, Panama. Locals are also regularly contributing with more and more waste for the construction.

The first home was built using over 10.000 PET bottles (polyethylene teraphthalate bottles, the kind used for soft drinks like Coke), and the subsequent homes will be built using anywhere from 10.000 and 25.000 bottles. The bottles are used to fill the inside of steel cages, which will comprise the walls. Then, electrical wires and other services are made to run through the walls, which will in turn be covered with concrete and finishing layers on the outside and the inside.

The use plastic bottles for building is time and cost effective; we only have to think about the fact that this used to be waste, and now it's a construction material to figure that out. These bottles offer good insulation; the spaces between the bottles comprise good inner wall ventilation; they are also earthquake resistant. These houses are available for pre purchase, ranging from 150.000 to 300.000 USD.

Source: Plastic Bottle Village

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Should men be able to give birth to children?


Joyce Nabuurs: To me this question seems to be a logical next step in the emancipation movement of the past century. More and more women entered the workspace, but the responsibility for pregnancy and childrearing remained female.

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