Meet a startup turning plastic waste into affordable housingThink Change India
An estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide every year. Plastic is not biodegradable. So the plastic bags we carelessly throw away remain intact for hundreds of years. They do not break down into smaller molecules and return to nature. Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the Earth four times.
Carlos Daniel González, a resident of Puebla, Mexico, founded a startup, EcoDomum, in 2013 to build durable, affordable homes using recycled plastic. He also used his solution to help fellow Mexicans who live in extreme poverty. Carlos told Unreasonable in an interview, “I live in a place with a lot of poverty and problems of marginalization. Some people live in truly deplorable conditions, places you can’t even call houses. My vision is very clear. I have the conviction to help the most people I can have a dignified life by getting rid of extreme poverty, cleaning up my country at the same time.”
The process of building homes out of plastic is quite simple. After collecting plastic waste, and cleaning them from substances which might produce toxic fumes, the plastic pieces are chopped up, and molten in an oven. The molten plastic goes through a hydraulic press, which simultaneously compresses and crystallizes the plastic into the shape of the panels. These durable panels are then used to make affordable homes for the poor citizens of Mexico. “It only takes seven days to build a house that uses two tons of plastic,” said Carlos.
Certainly an interesting proposition for a country like India too.
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