In Nigeria, plastic bottle houses are 18 times stronger than those made from bricks

Karen Pham

Karen Pham


In Nigeria, a community group has designed and built plastic bottle houses in a bid to provide shelter, work and reduce waste.

The NGO Development Association for Renewable Energies (Dare) has repurposed more than 14,000 plastic bottles to construct houses in a community.

Discarded bottles are collected from hotels, restaurants, homes and foreign embassies. People then fill them with sand and stack them on their side to create a wall, which is then bound together with mud.

The resulting bottle wall is said to be 18 times stronger than one made with regular bricks and can withstand earthquakes – and even bullets.

This sustainable construction of plastic bottle houses also offers a more affordable alternative compared to conventional housing.

Besides the sustainability benefit, the project creates job opportunities for some of the thousands of children who do not go to school. In order to raise more money and grow the business, Dare plans to pitch the idea to the Nigerian government.

Nigeria is one of the most populous nations in the African continent and like anywhere, the repurposing or recycling of single-use plastic bottles is being pursued to reduce the number going to landfills or ending up in the ocean. In the US, a local startup called ByFusion is turning plastic waste into an alternative to concrete.

The concept seems so simple that plastic bottle houses could become commonplace in many other countries if there is a willingness to experiment with the concept. Further recommended reading:

Karen Pham

Karen Pham

Karen Pham is a marketing and branding enthusiast with a major in legal English. Based in Ho Chi Minh City, she is a contributor to Viable.Earth.

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