When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Building With Bottles On A Panamanian Island

COLÓN ISLAND — As the world continues to bury itself in plastic bottles, a few pioneers are coming up with clever ways to put all that refuse to good use.

One of those people is Canadian innovator Robert Bezeau, who decided after a visit to Panama to build an entire plastic-bottle village — presumably the first of its kind — on the island of Colón, just off the Central American nation's Caribbean coast.

[rebelmouse-image 27090323 alt="""" original_size="950x713" expand=1]

The Island of Colón — Photo: The Village Eco-Community

Bezeau first came up with the idea two years ago when he discovered, to his disappointment, that Panama is not the pristine tropical paradise he'd been made to beleive, but a land polluted like so many others with the countless plastic bottles people throw out every day.

The trick to cleaning up the area, he thought, is to give all those containers a second-life — as building blocks. And not just for a home or two, but for a whole community.

The Canadian's techniqe is to fill the bottles with sand, then place them inside metal carcasses that are covered over with cement. He then uses these walls to erect different structures. Each home uses about 10,000 plastic bottles, which are also relatively quake-resistant and provide effective insulation against humidity and heat. The homes Bezeau makes are 10 degrees centigrade cooler inside than outside.

[rebelmouse-image 27090324 alt="""" original_size="750x500" expand=1]

Structures made with plastic bottles — Photo: The Village Eco-Community

Bezeau says that finding creative uses for plastic bottles could help turn them into a precious commodity, maybe even "a threatened species" one day. The initial plan for the village on Colón island is to complete 120 homes spread over 33 hectare, complete with organic vegetable patches and space for communal activities — like yoga!

Bezeau's team is also busy promoting the concept and techniques on social networking and crowdfunding sites, and at housing fairs.

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

It's Not About Mussolini, Searching For The Real Giorgia Meloni

As the right-wing coalition tops Italian elections, far-right leader of the Brothers of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, is set to become Italy's next prime minister. Both her autobiography and the just concluded campaign help fill in the holes in someone whose roots are in Italy's post-fascist political parties.

Giorgia Meloni at a political rally in Palermo on Sept. 20.

Alessandro Calvi

-Analysis-

ROME — After Sunday’s national election results, Italy is set to have its first ever woman prime minister. But Giorgia Meloni has been drawing extra attention both inside and outside of the country because of her ideology, not her gender.

Her far-right pedigree in a country that invented fascism a century ago has had commentators rummaging through the past of Meloni and her colleagues in the Brothers of Italy party in search of references to Benito Mussolini.

But even as her victory speech spoke of uniting the country, it is far more useful to listen to what she herself has said since entering politics to understand the vision the 45-year-old lifelong politician has for Italy’s future.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ