The “bottle brick” technology has been around for almost a decade. It involves taking used plastic bottles and packing them tightly with sand. The result is a recycled product more durable than brick and is 1/3 the price. The technology is used in India, South and Central America, and now Africa.
In Nigeria, they are currently working on producing 25 homes using an estimated 7,800 plastic bottles each. The project creates not only homes but also jobs. Nigeria’s recent architecture has become a global phenomenon that attracts tourists and politicians alike. The bottles are recycled from local hotels, restaurants, homes and even foreign embassies and serve as more than a mere structural feature. They also provide insulation and security. Because the sand is so firmly compacted it keeps the structure cool and is bulletproof, essential for those living in the Northern regions of Nigeria. Obviously quite a lot of sand is needed to produce these homes which has created some concern from locals.
“I don’t want to be a beggar, I want to work and get paid – that is why I am doing this job,” says 15-year-old Shehu Usman, who is working on the building site. “When I grow old I want to build myself a house with bottles.”
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photos © Andreas Froese of ECOTEC
information courtesy of BBC News