This Mexican startup is turning plastic waste into affordable housing to fight poverty.
Combating the dual problems of plastic pollution and extreme poverty with one clever solution
EcoDomum, a startup in Puebla, Mexico is combating the two huge problems of plastic pollution and extreme poverty with one very clever solution. They have been taking the country’s mass of plastic trash and recycling it into building materials for affordable housing, and with some 5 million tons of plastic consumed in Mexico annually, they have no shortage of raw materials to work with.
Killing two birds with one stone: the homes that plastic trash built!
Reducing waste mountains in Mexico while simultaneously creating cost-effective living spaces, these are the houses that plastic trash built!
Construct a 40 sq/m house for around €250? Is that even possible! It is indeed possible! The startup EcoDomum in Mexico is already working on this, building houses out of plastic waste. A public funding program is also making it possible to provide the houses for an affordable amount.
The concept not only tackles the world’s ubiquitous plastic waste issue, but it also helps low-income earners, and in Mexico this problem is just as big as the rubbish problem. Neza-Chalco-Itza (Nezahualcóyotl), a suburb of Mexico City, ranks among the five biggest slums in the world. Almost four million people live here under grim conditions. Plastic houses could provide an economically-affordable living space option to residents.
Construction of a family house using this system takes only around one week and requires about 80 plastic panels. To date, 500 houses have been built with more to come. Currently, EcoDomum presses 120 plastic panels from 5.5 tonnes of plastic waste via heating and pressing, which is carried out in a local factory.
Herein lies another bonus: EcoDomum pays the garbage collectors a decent wage, thereby helping to bring more people out of poverty.
For another innovative project using plastic waste to build houses, see our article on the Colombian startup with a very similar idea.
16 simple ways to reduce plastic waste
Luckily, there are simple steps you can take that will dramatically decrease the amount of plastic waste you generate. These easy things can dramatically decrease the amount of plastic trash you make.