We’ve all heard how dangerous the plastic rubbish we accumulate is. It damages our oceans and planet and causes all sorts of trouble. But there is a brighter side to plastic waste. As it is now being used to create brand new homes for people in Latin America, which is a huge boost for local families, many of whom have been without homes due to civil war and natural disasters.
In fact, recent stats suggest that as many as 30% of people in Latin America live in poverty, many without a home to live in. But plastic rubbish is changing all that, thanks to a brilliant new initiative from a company called Conceptos Plásticos. The company is creating brand new homes for people in the area out of unwanted plastic waste.
It’s a cheap and readily available building material that could change the lives of thousands of families in the region. Plus it puts our unwanted plastic rubbish to good use, protecting the environment, while also giving people homes to live in and hope for the future.
And like many world-changing ideas, it sounds so simple once you hear it – plastic is a durable and reliable material that can easily be manipulated into a variety of different forms. This makes it an ideal building material.
The programme is being supported by funding from private investors and research grants and so far pilot projects have been run in Africa and Asia, with great success.
But how does it all work? Well to start with, the local communities affected are being encouraged to save their plastic rubbish, or take it to a recycling centre where it can be set aside for construction use. The added benefit of taking it for recycling is that many centres will pay for this waste, allowing low-income families to also make some money from their good deed.
Once enough has been collected – it takes about five tons to build a small house – it is separated into its different types. Then it is smushed up to tiny pieces, and melded together with all other types of plastic at a crazy high temperature, but all of this is done safely to ensure no toxic gases are released during the process.
And once all this has been done the plastic comes out in a giant plastic building brick and is ready to be used in home construction. These blocks are purposely designed to lock together in a perfect way, making the homes they make very secure and durable. And it doesn’t even take a professional to build the homes. A family could purchase the supplies and do all the work themselves if they wanted to, making it even easier for families to create their new home just the way they want.
Plus some of the bricks are designed so that pipes and electricity can be installed, meaning that homes can be fully functional, as well as being safe bases for people to live in.
And while today the focus is on building homes for those most in need, it’s not unimaginable that one day this technology will become commonplace around the world.
According to research by Frank Rubbish Removal, this is something a lot of people would like to see. The research also found that 82% of people worry about the impact of plastic rubbish on the environment, and 73% would like to see something more constructive done with this waste. And when asked 56% said they thought this idea was a great use of plastic. The plastic home mission could be just the thing to put this rubbish to good use finally.