The simple bottle could offer the answer to both homelessness and landfill in Africa

By Maria Kyriacou

Image: Andreas Froes / Ecotec
Image: Andreas Froes / Ecotec
Nigeria is using recycled plastic bottles to build fireproof, bulletproof, environmentally friendly homes

Using the technique known as “bottle walls”, people are able to build a two-bedroom home using 14,000 recycled plastic bottles, for about a quarter the cost of a conventional home.

The concept hits two birds with one stone, addressing the issues of both homelessness and pollution. Nigeria, for instance, has a serious housing shortage as a result of affordability. As the most populous country of the region, it’s confronted by the problem of 16 million people struggling without shelter. The country also battles a never-ending battle with plastic waste accumulating.

Nigerians have been getting help from German firm Ecotec Environmental Solutions, which teaching them how to build houses with this technique.

The solid walls are formed a model where bottles are filled with sand and then stacked on their sides. The materials are held together with cement filling frames, around a foot or more in thickness that are able to insulate and protect the people inside.

The ingenious concept provides a comfortable home for the inhabitants, as I retains a pleasant temperature all year round. Furthermore, the homes are bulletproof, fireproof and can withstand earthquakes.

The buildings can only be three stories high, as a result of the weight of the sand-filled bottles. To top it off these are no prefab-sprouts, with each building sporting a unique, colourful look as a result of recycled bottle caps.


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