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Game Changer

Can This Plastic Bottle House Help Reduce Plastic Waste Problems In Africa?



Plastic bottles are non-biodegradable and toxic to our environment. In Africa, there’s only little done concerning these environmental pollutants. However, the issue of plastic waste pollution in Africa might finally come to an end, thanks to the first-ever plastic bottle house. This new innovation comes with so many advantages and many questions concerning how helpful it can be in reducing Africa’s plastic waste problems.

Plastic Bottle House

Plastic bottle house built to reduce plastic waste in Nigeria

Plastic bottle house (Image Source: Inhabitat)

No one would have imagined a house made of plastic bottles. However, a Nigerian-based NGO, Development Association for Renewable Energies (DARE) is pioneering this idea. The new innovation serves as a tourist attraction in Yelwa village of Kaduna State in the Northern region of Nigeria. Over 17,800 condemned bottles were exploited to create curved walls and pillar of a rare house.

The first advantage of this 3-bedroom building is that it is relatively affordable when compared to any similar structure made of cement blocks. In an interview with BBC, Yahaya Ahmed who is part of the Development Association for Renewable Energies (DARE) explained that the cost ratio is 1:3. This low-budget factor is welcomed in Africa where building often costs a fortune.

Plastic bottle house built to reduce plastic waste in Nigeria

A portion of The Plastic Bottle House (Image Source: TRTWorld)

Another big deal is that there is a significant temperature difference inside the building. According to Yahaya Ahmed, the earth materials in the bottles act as a poor heat conductor. This helps to retain heat during cold seasons and creates low temperatures during hot seasons. Hence, energy cost is ultimately reduced since cooling with an air conditioner is not necessary.

There is also a fire-proof advantage using this innovation. The civil engineer reported that an experiment was carried out to set the house on fire using petrol. He further revealed that the fire did not penetrate the building. This feature is priceless especially for people living in troubled parts of the country where bandits regularly set houses ablaze.

Plastic Waste Problem In Africa

Data diagram on showing the path of global plastic waste pollution

The path by which plastic enters the ocean (Image Source: OurWorldInData)

Africa is a booming marketplace for plastic drinks. However, waste management and utilization are poorly handled in many countries on the continent. The techniques developed for such operations are largely ineffective or not fully functional. This creates a problem that leads to blocked drainages, an unhealthy sight in many streets, and a global issue of marine animals dying due to plastic pollution in oceans.

Yahaya Ahmed, the civil engineer behind the plastic bottle house, is hopeful that the innovation will help his country and continent. Interestingly, 80% of the plastic bottles for his innovation were from gutters. Therefore, the utilization of this large number of waste plastics will lower the burden of plastic pollution. Also, it will help clean African gutters, thereby restoring a beautiful sight to street corners. Additionally, utilizing plastic waste will promote and preserve aquatic life in African waters. This will save the many communities that depend on fishing as a means of livelihood.

Chart of global plastic production

Global Plastic Production (Image Source: OurWorldInData)

Living in a plastic bottle house will be a new experience for many Africans. It will also definitely be an eco-friendly move since more of these houses means fewer plastics in local water bodies and a generally healthy lifestyle. It is now left to African governments to quickly adopt the new innovation. Do you think you will want to live in plastic home? share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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