Tucked away in a remote jungle in Panama sits the first ever Plastic Bottle Village, a small community of homes made from recycled plastic bottles. Canadian expat Robert Bezeau and his team of workers are hard at work constructing the eco-residential community atop 83 acres of established jungle on the island of Bocas Del Toro. The wall panels of each home are built using steel rebars that are welded together to create square mesh cages. Each cage is then tightly packed with plastic bottles and then covered with 1’’ of cement. The air in these plastic bottles acts as an insulator, making the interior temperature 35 degrees cooler than the outside wall. This unique panel method creates a natural gravity ventilation system as the fresh air continuously circulates through the panel filter.
In a short video feature produced by Mel Films, Bezeau says, “When a bottle of plastic is standing on the shelf in a store, that bottle is not a threat to the planet until someone buys it. When you buy that bottle, and you break that seal, you are the threat.”
Born in Montreal, Bezeau grew tired of the cold and decided to move to Bocas Del Toro, where he’s lived since 2009. In the 1990s the island experienced a drastic surge in tourism and the amount of garbage produced began to grow faster than the island’s capacity to clean it. Over a span of one-and-a-half years, Bezeau managed to gather over a million plastic bottles. From there, he started building his vision which he hopes will eventually see out 120 completed homes/lots, an eco lodge, a yoga exercise pavilion, hiking trails, and small manicured parks for barbaques. Check out the project in the video below:
Click here to learn more about the Plastic Bottle Village.