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Single-use disposable plastic bottles: from waste to walls, from litter to lamplight

Single-use disposable plastic bottles: from waste to walls, from litter to lamplight
Source: Jangu.org/LiterOfLight

Evey day, plastic bottles are discarded in their millions, but what if some of them could be repurposed to house and illuminate the world’s poorest?

Discarded plastic bottles ingeniously repurposed for good

Every day around the world, millions of single-use, disposable plastic bottles are bought and thrown away — and not all of those are disposed of properly. These unsightly, non-biodegradable objects can be found in abundance worldwide. However, instead of looking at these discarded bottles as simply trash, some lateral thinking social entrepreneurs have been finding ingenious ways to repurpose them into useful commodites like handy building bricks and cheap, efficeint lightbulbs.

Meet the Ugandan man building houses from plastic bottles David Miiro is part of the Social Innovation Academy (SINA) in Uganda, seeking to protect the environment and promote innovative mindsets while empowering youth. Source: Facebook/AJ+English

David Miiro: upcycling discarded plastic bottles into beautiful homes

Meet young Ugandan, David Miiro. He is part of the Social Innovation Academy (SINA), seeking to protect the environment in his country and promote innovative mindsets while empowering youth. Through Upcycling 15,000 used plastic bottles, David and a team of volunteers will train their local community in Mpigi, Uganda, focusing on disadvantaged youth, to protect the environment while constructing a learning hub together.

The major beverage companies in Uganda are phasing out recyclable glass bottles, replacing them with plastic bottles. Without a garbage disposal system in place in Uganda, the bottles are burnt after use with devastating effects on the environment. With this project, David wants to raise awareness and show innovative ways of upcycling waste including creating bottle bricks that can be used to build environmentally efficient houses.

David explains, “We constructed the first plastic bottle house in Mpigi District. The experience changed our mindset of how to view waste and we want to spread this awareness in a practical and fun way to other youth.”

Funding from the Pollination Project (grant award date: January 4, 2014) was spent on building costs such as materials and supplies.

To learn more about Plastic Bottle Upcycling, visit their Website and Facebook page.

Source: ThePollinationProject

When collected and compacted with soil, “bottle bricks” serve as useful construction material and most importantly, bottle bricks are free of costs. They are as strong as regular bricks, earthquake resistant, bullet proof and buffer heat.
The first fully upcycled learning hut at SINA was made from plastic bottles, old car tyres, and egg shells When collected and compacted with soil, “bottle bricks” serve as useful construction material and most importantly, bottle bricks are free of costs. They are as strong as regular bricks, earthquake resistant, bullet proof and buffer heat. Source: SocialInnovationAcademy.org

Then there is ‘Liter of Light’ — Lighting Up Lives, One Bottle At A Time

Meanwhile, Liter of Light is a global, grassroots movement who utilise inexpensive, readily available materials to provide high quality solar lighting to people with limited or no access to electricity.

Through a network of partnerships around the world, Liter of Light volunteers teach marginalised communities how to use recycled plastic bottles and locally sourced materials to illuminate their homes, businesses, and streets. 

Liter of Light has installed more than 850,000 bottle lights in more than 15 countries and taught green skills to empower grassroots entrepreneurs at every stop. Liter of Light’s open source technology has been recognised by the UN and adopted for use in some UNHCR camps.

Source: LiterOfLightUSA

Old plastic bottles have now been used to light up more than 850,000 homes around the worldSource: Youtube
Make an Impact

Liter of Light: how to make your very own solar light bulb (video)

Liter of Light has been going through several refinements to make sure that the solar bottle light is done properly. Here is the instructional video for people wanting to build their own solar lightbulb.