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Nigerians Use Plastic Bottles and Mud to Build Fireproof Homes (They’re Bulletproof, Too!)





Talk about turning lemons into lemonade! In this case, though, it’s all about turning trash into eco-friendly homes that are not only bulletproof and fireproof — but also earthquake-proof.

Plastic is practically choking the planet. An article on points out that researchers have even gone as far as to predict that “99% of all birds on this planet will have plastic in their gut by the year 2050.”

Plastic bottles help the homeless.


Photo credit: Andreas Froese/ECOTEC

What makes the problem worse is the fact that plastic takes a long time to decompose. In fact, a study done by the U.S. National Park Service reveals plastic bags take 10 to 20 years to decompose.

Birds are being "choked" by trash.


If you think that’s bad, then you’ll be even more shocked to find out that plastic beverage bottles take 450 years to break down. That’s a very, very, very long time for them to be stuck in a landfill. Bear in mind that Nigeria throws away three million bottles each day. So, disposing of plastic beverage bottles is obviously not going to solve the problem.

Thus, two non-government organizations — the Kaduna-based NGO Development Association for Renewable Energies (DARE) and the London-based NGO Africa Community Trust — teamed up for a project that uses the plastic bottles in building houses for homeless Nigerians. pointed out that “the housing crisis has become so bad in Nigeria that nearly 16 million units are required to address the shortage.”

It's the kind of home that saves life.


Photo credit: Andreas Froese/ECOTEC

The report noted: “To create a two-bedroom bottle house, workers start by filling empty plastic bottles with sand and then holding them together using mud and cement. This forms a solid wall that is stronger than cinder blocks. In addition, it is completely powered by solar panels and methane gas from recycled human, and animal waste.”

A proper home restores dignity.


Photo credit: Andreas Froese/ECOTEC

It takes 14,000 bottles to build a two-bedroom bottle home that’s bulletproof, fireproof, and can withstand earthquakes. These colorful abodes also boast of a comfortable temperature year round. Now, who would have thought that “trash” would be so wonderful?

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