The Columbian company named Conceptos PlÃ¡sticos has come up with an innovative solution to the two burning global issues: lack of affordable housing and prevalence of the plastic waste stuffing the landfills.
Conceptos PlÃ¡sticos offers LEGO-like building materials fashioned from recycled plastic waste. The venture is working in close collaboration with the local society to provide housing to the population across Columbia. A recent survey revealed that the cities across Latin America are overwhelmed as more than 80 percent population resides in the urban areas.
Conceptos PlÃ¡sticos is a joint venture of the architect Oscar Mendez, who started the company along with Henry CaÃ±on, Isabel Cristina, and Fernando Llanos. The company not only sources the waste material for recycling purpose from the communes but also trains the local communities about the building process itself.
These building blocks can be used to erect houses, public halls, classrooms, or even shelters for the refugees. It takes about five days to complete a home for one family if four people are working on the construction site. One home will cost around $5200. Since the recycled building blocks fit each other LEGO blocks, thus, no construction and building experience are necessary.
The founder believes that Conceptos PlÃ¡sticos will stir the global community to take action:
“We hope to create a movement where more and more people get involved. We want to develop new products that make better use of the thousands and thousands of tons of plastic that is discarded. There will soon be more plastic in the sea than fish, so we really need to do something big.”
Apart from the ease of building using these recycled-plastic bricks, the material is also resistant to the natural disasters. A special additive makes the blocks fire-proof, and Conceptos PlÃ¡sticos believes:
“[This] construction system is 30 percent cheaper [than the traditional construction techniques].”
These plastic buildings will stand strong for about 500 years. The company built a hostel for 42 families displaced by violence in Columbia; the unique aspect of this building is that it can easily be reinstalled at another site if the need arises.
You can learn more about the venture in this video: