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Panama Eco Village Will Be Built Entirely From Recycled Bottles

May 11, 2016 03:52 AM EDT

We've seen a lot of innovative ways to reuse recycled bottles. But somewhere in Panama, a new project plans to make use of waste products to build an entire village.

The aptly named Plastic Bottle Village is still in its early planning days. But creators say the village will eventually be comprised of about 90 to 120 homes, all of which will be insulated with thousands of recycled plastic bottles.

The Plastic Bottle Village is located in Isla Colón in Bocas del Toro province in Panama. The planned 83-acre eco-community was conceptualized by Canadian entrepreneur Robert Bezeau.

Bezeau began the recycling project in Panama in 2012 together with a few workers and volunteers, where he estimated over one million bottles accumulated in a span of one and a half year. The same bottles are to be used for the Plastic Bottle Village project and more recycled products are given by locals every week.

Phase one of the village construction project began in late 2015 where only one single-story home was built. A second model house, which is a two-story castle-like house, is also about to be completed.

In creating the houses, a steel cage is first fabricated and then filled in with plastic bottles. Once set into place, electrical cables are inserted. The house will be layered with concrete to cover the mesh, followed by windows, roofs and other finishing touches.

As said in the project's website, over 10,000 plastic bottles were used in constructing the first house. The Plastic Bottle Village team projects somewhere between 10,000 and 25,000 bottles to be used for each subsequent home.

According to the Plastic Bottle Village website, the use of plastic bottles is both time and cost-effective, compared to typical local materials and technique. The team also claims that the bottle-built homes are earthquake-resistant and have such good insulation that air-conditioning is no longer necessary.

The plastic bottle homes are available for pre-purchase and come in different styles, with prices ranging from $149,000 to $300,000. The Plastic Bottle Village is also raising funds through GoFundMe to fund the construction of an education center, dormitories and a cafeteria in the village.

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