How Nigerians are turning trash into eco-friendly, affordable and beautiful housing material

The well-known Nigerian “plastic bottle” house in Yewa has been successful in turning trash into an affordable and beautiful housing material.

And now plastic bottles filled with sand and mud have become Nigeria’s eco-friendly alternative to traditional bricks and concrete materials.

By packing plastic bottles with soil or sand, and then stacking and binding them with mud and string, Nigerians have shown how you can build earthquake-proof homes that are 18 times stronger than regular bricks and can even withstand bullets.

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Nigeria generates about 2.5 million tons of recyclable plastic waste each year and is responsible for 2.7% of all plastic entering the ocean. Nigeria also has a housing problem, with 24 million of the nation’s 200 million people currently homeless.

The recycled bricks help fix these problems: they are affordable, good for the environment, and could be used to build homes for low-income families in Lagos.

German firm Ecotec Environmental Solutions is working with the Nigerian NGO, the Development Association for Renewable Energies, to expand the bottle technology project across the country. Ecotec is training people in Nigeria to use their abundant plastic bottle waste to build durable and secure homes in the country.

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