Skip to content

You are using an outdated browser

Internet Explorer is not supported by this site and Microsfot has stopped releasing updates, therefore you may encounter issues whilst visiting this site and we strongly recommend that you upgrade your browser for modern web functionality, a better user experience and improved security.

Upgrade my browser

Did you know that our plastic waste can be turned into homes that cost under €250?

Did you know that our plastic waste can be turned into homes that cost under €250?
Source: VisualNews.com

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.

Plastic waste can be turned into homes the cost just $280 The cheap and incredibly durable houses are produced quickly, taking just seven days to build. Source: Facebook/ATTN

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.

Source: Reset.org

First EcoDomum starts by collecting used plastic waste of any kind, then sorting it into the type that will melt without releasing toxic fumes. Next they use a machine to chop that plastic up into small pieces.
The raw materials are abundant in Mexico First EcoDomum starts by collecting used plastic waste of any kind, then sorting it into the type that will melt without releasing toxic fumes. Next they use a machine to chop that plastic up into small pieces. Source: VisualNews.com
Then the plastic is put into an oven at 350 degrees C (660F) where it spends about half an hour melting. Once the mix is soft enough, it’s placed in a hydraulic press where it is flattened into panels approximately 8 feet long, 4 feet wide and 1 inch thick – about the size of a standard sheet of construction plywood, but much tougher and resistant to moisture and the elements.
The panels are about the same size as a standard sheet of construction plywood Then the plastic is put into an oven at 350 degrees C (660F) where it spends about half an hour melting. Once the mix is soft enough, it’s placed in a hydraulic press where it is flattened into panels approximately 8 feet long, 4 feet wide and 1 inch thick – about the size of a standard sheet of construction plywood, but much tougher and resistant to moisture and the elements. Source: VisualNews.com
Plastic doesn’t decompose, which is a problem until you turn it into a house you want to last 100 years. Like a plastic bottle, the panels won’t leak water either. Each of EcoDomum’s 430 square foot prototype houses uses 2 tons of plastic and with current government subsidies the total cost is just 5,000 pesos (or approximately $280 USD), per home.
The homes have a number of benefits: Plastic doesn’t decompose, which is a problem until you turn it into a house you want to last 100 years. Like a plastic bottle, the panels won’t leak water either. Each of EcoDomum’s 430 square foot prototype houses uses 2 tons of plastic and with current government subsidies the total cost is just 5,000 pesos (or approximately $280 USD), per home. Source: VisualNews.org
Make an Impact

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.