JUN 01, 2017 05:34 PM PDT
How Colombia is building homes from plastic waste
2 6 310

Did you know that 75% of plastic packaging is single-use? In Bogota, Colombia's capital home to eight million people all those single use plastics add up to about 650 tons a day. And so instead of letting it all sit in a landfill where it will take hundreds of years to decompose, an architect named Oscar Mendez has founded an enterprise called Conceptos Plasticos to put some of that waste to good use.

But he's not doing it alone. Bogota has roughly 40,000 trucks that collect recycling around the city, going around neighborhoods to pick up reusable material. The difficult thing, reports the lead recycling manager at one of the recycling plants, is educating people to start recycling in the first place. After all, all that raw material is what Conceptos Plasticos needs to get down to work in the factory, constructing durable building blocks.

The blocks are produced mainly from household plastic waste, battery packaging and electrical waste such as old computers and TVs, all of which is broken up into bits through a super-tough blender. It is then melted and then placed into a mold which, when the plastic hardens, pops out a plastic lego block. These blocks act just like toy legos and the team at Conceptos Plasticos is able to construct houses with them, providing housing for low-income communities. The enterprise has designed these houses with the intention that a family of four could construct their own house with the building blocks in less than five days, for a cost of $5,000.
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She currently lives in Colombia.
You May Also Like
MAY 18, 2018
Videos
MAY 18, 2018
Tips for Reducing Your Melanoma Risk
Each year, more people are diagnosed with some form of skin cancer than every other kind of cancer combined. It's not just about having a pesky spot remove
MAY 20, 2018
Videos
MAY 20, 2018
Dangers of Alcohol and Other Foods on Medications
It is a fact that medications that make us drowsy should never be taken with alcoholic beverages because alcohol can also make us drowsy. However, there ar
MAY 20, 2018
Videos
MAY 20, 2018
Why Are Peppers Spicy?
Peppers are plants and those that are spicy use their spiciness as a defense mechanism against predation. In fact, scientists thought that pepper plants ev
MAY 31, 2018
Videos
MAY 31, 2018
The Med Diet Isn't Popular With Kids
In southern European countries, the "Mediterranean Diet" is widespread and lauded as a healthy way to eat. It includes very little red meat, lots of veggie
JUN 11, 2018
Neuroscience
JUN 11, 2018
Doing Well at Eurovision Makes People Happier
Countries in Europe are famous for rooting on their soccer teams, but a recent study conducted at the Imperial College of London showed that the further a
JUN 11, 2018
Videos
JUN 11, 2018
This is What Happens to the Body After Death
Death can be a taboo topic that most people don’t like discussing, but there’s undoubtedly a scientific interest in what happens to the body af
Loading Comments...