Colombia builds houses with blocks made of discarded plastics

Colombian architect Oscar Mendez is building a house with blocks and cuboids made of discarded plastics.

(Soundbite) Oscar Mendez, CEO Concepts Plastics.
“We are creating economic value from plastics that have no market. They are contaminated plastics, but now with a market after being recycled.”

The idea came from musician Fernando Llanos and was later adopted by architect Oscar Mendez, who through several years of research managed to develop bricks from processing all types of used plastics.

(Soundbite) Oscar Mendez, CEO of Concept Plastics
“This is an initiative of triple impacts: economic impact, environmental impact and social impact.”

Now the invention has started to benefit thousands of homeless, who are having their own housed built mainly in suburbs with the special chunks.

(Soundbite) Oscar Mendez, CEO of Concept Plastics
“The housing deficit in Latin America is tremendous. 40% percent of people in Africa, Asia and Latin America do not own a home. One in seven people in the world lives in extreme poverty. Then we want to improve this situation by offering houses.”

With wide use of the new building components, Colombia also expects to downsize contamination caused by thrown-away plastics.

(Soundbite) Oscar Mendez, CEO of Concept Plastics
“On the environmental side, only in Bogota 6,300 tons of waste is thrown into the landfill is (each year), of which approximately 12%, or 750 tons, are plastics. Only 100 tons are recycled. We are recycling more of them to build hundreds of houses (for displace people).”

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