Robert Bezeau has a passion: plastic bottles, so much so that he made them the main material of the village he founded on the paradise island of Bocas del Toro, in Panama. The goal of his original project? Find a new, greener way to build and above all put an end to the invasion of plastic waste that is saturating the oceans.
- Building to better recycle
- Eco-friendly and disaster-friendly homes
- An expanding project
Building to better recycle
When the Canadian Robert Bezeau arrived to participate in an ecological program in Panama, he was able to see the difficulty that the local population had in dealing with its waste, for lack of means. He found the solution to this problem by inventing a revolutionary construction method to recycle plastic bottles . It takes between 10,000 and 25,000 to make a house. These bottles are first inserted as a block in a steel mesh, then these blocks are mounted and fixed by metal rods which constitute the backbone of the house. The blocks of plastic bottles are then covered with a concrete coating. The house is delivered with all the necessary comfort: running water, electricity, plumbing, doors, windows. The price of a house is between $149,000 and $300,000, which corresponds to €138,000 and €278,000.
Eco-friendly and disaster-friendly homes
According to the founder, houses built out of bottles would have several advantages. The first would be the insulating nature of plastic bottles, keeping the interior permanently cool, an undeniable advantage in a country where the average temperature is between 26 and 28 all year round. Then, the construction would be anti-seismic since the metal rods are flexible enough to absorb the tremors. Even more surprisingly, the Canadian claims that his houses could float thanks to the flotation capacity of empty bottles locked in steel cages. In short, this method of construction would be the most suitable for the local climate and natural hazards. Finally, the key argument is that this construction method is probably the best way to partially get rid of billions of tons of plastic that pollute our planet .
An expanding project
In its final phase, the project should include 120 houses built, a shop and a grocery store in which local products will be distributed in exchange for plastic bottles. In addition, Robert Bezeau indicates that he also wishes to build farms, shelters in the event of natural disasters, septic tanks or even roads thanks to this ecological construction method. An awareness center should thus be created in order to disseminate the methods developed in the Plastic Bottle Village to other projects.