Canadian Entrepreneur Robert Bezeau moved to Bocas del Toro, Panama where he started creating the Plastic Bottle Village. The main goal of this village is to reduce plastic waste that pollutes our landfills and bring this used plastic back to life by incorporating them in construction.
In his public message, Robert states:“I want the world to realize that we can reuse plastic bottles in many other applications such as:
1. Home insulation
2. Rapid temporary shelters after disasters
3. Buildings for animal’s on farms
4. Building swimming pools
5. Water catchment tanks
6. Septic tanks
7. Agriculture waterways (land drainage)
8. Commercial warehouse construction
What might not look so pretty during the construction, actually ends up looking like a beautiful house that many of us would love to live in
But building homes is not the only thing this initiative is interested in, their main goal is to raise awareness about the tragic state our planet is in and the importance of reducing plastic waste. Their website also analyzes the history of the plastic waste around the world and what events throughout history had the biggest impact on the plastic bottle pollution that we are currently facing.
“1978: Coca-Cola and Pepsi, introduced the first 2l PET plastic bottles to the World.
We all thought back then that was fantastic, and the greatest invention. You could drop the bottles, re-open them many times, perfect for pick-nick box, etc.
What we did not think about was that the bottlers were going from a returnable glass bottle with consignment, to a non-returnable plastic bottle without consignment.
The bottlers transferred their responsibilities to recycle to us humans of the World. They did not need to pick-up the empties any more, and bring them back to the factory. One way only, WOW what a reduction in cost, and more profits.”
Their website also offers some before and after shots of the home
In fact, everybody can buy a piece of land and build a house on the island. According to the website, the land costs around $19,000 and the architects are ready to build the home of your dreams there.
It takes around 14,000 plastic bottles to build one 100 square metre house in the village
“We will be living inside what we have consumed and thrown away, and willre-construct those materials into modern, stylish, and quality built residencies. The homes are also earthquake resistant, and very cool in temperature, so there is no need for air conditioning. This will aid in conserving energy for The Village, which is a solar friendly community.
The village also states that the houses are energy saving since the temperature difference between the outside and the inside wall of a plastic bottle home is around 35F cooler, so there is no need for air-conditioning.
“The disadvantage of living on an island, is that all the consumer goods that arrive by FERRY on the island are packaged into plastic. The goods are consumed, and the plastic packaging stay trapped on the island. NEVER YOU SEE THE FERRY RETURN WITH PLASTIC.”
“This island receives more than 100,000 visitors per year that stay on average 5 days. You now have 500,000 visitor days. If each visitor consumes only two drinks a day, you have 1 MILLION plastic bottles a year left behind on a small island.”
The plastic village also offers a stay at the Plastic Castle
The main idea behind the castle is to inspire others to understand how much plastic surround us every day and to encourage people to use less of it or at least reuse it mindfully.
It took 2 years to finish the castle, it has four levels and is built using 40,000 PET bottles.
There are two guest rooms in the castle and one royal suite, there is also a dining bar as well as a dining area and a gathering level with a fantastic view.
There is also a plastic bottle “jail” that you can visit and educate yourself on the terrible impact our actions have on the planet
Visiting the “jail” aims to encourage people to help the planet as well as educate young children on the importance of environmental issues.
Although crimes against the planet due to plastic bottle waste is very real, The Dungeon is a fun vacation place where one can become part of the pollution solution by ‘jailing yourself’ for these crimes.
Castle Inspiration offers a unique opportunity to sleep in a jail cell where you have the key. Combining the need for a more earth-friendly existence with a humorous twist on the consequences of ones actions. A stay at The Dungeon presents the opportunity to become more aware of the growing plastic problem while having a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
In fact, this is not the only place people use plastic bottles for a good cause
According to the UNHCR, in the remote desert of southwest Algeria, a young refugee is filling used plastic bottles and building shelters that better withstand the harsh climate. The idea of using plastic bottles as a material to use for construction is spreading across the world as it is not only cheap it also solves a huge pollution problem.