Durability + Design
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site


D+D News

Main News Page

Building a Village with Bottles

Friday, May 20, 2016

More items for Building Envelope

Comment | More

Plastic drink bottles are ubiquitous in many of our lives—but in one spot in Panama, they’ll soon make up an entire village.

Canadian-born Panamanian Robert Bezeau is behind the idea to turn an 83-acre plot of land in Bocas del Toro into a “Plastic Bottle Village”—an entire community made of recycled plastic bottles. He’s already built the first model home, and more are on their way.

Plastic bottles lining a metal frame
Photos: Robert Bezeau

According to Bezeau, the first house took about 10,000 bottles to build.

Bezeau came to the idea, he says, after collecting what he estimates to be more than 1 million plastic bottles as part of a recycling program on Bocas del Toro. He uses metal rebar and mesh to create the structure, then fills in with plastic bottles to insulate it, and covers the whole thing with concrete.

The first house took about 10,000 bottles to build; subsequent buildings could use up to 25,000, according to Bezeau.

The Perks of Plastic

Bezeau notes that the air-filled bottles act as an effective insulator against the heat outside, and says the flexible nature of the building material makes the houses earthquake-resistant.

Bezeau says on the project’s website that the goal is a 120-home community along with a boutique eco-lodge. The first phase of development involves 37 houses.

Building a plastic bottle house

Bezeau uses metal rebar and mesh to create the structure, then fills in with plastic bottles to insulate it, and covers the whole thing with concrete.

It's not the first time plastic bottles have been used as building material, though it may be the most ambitious project of its kind to date. (Some monks in Thailand did build a temple out of beer bottles, however.)

In addition to the village, Bezeau has other big ideas for bottles: He tells Durability + Design News he’d like to leverage used plastic bottles in an exchange system, so that less fortunate citizens in Panama could barter bottles for food. He says he’s currently seeking sponsors to help get that project off the ground.

Bezeau is currently running a GoFundMe campaign to try to raise funds for the Plastic Bottle Village.


Tagged categories: Building envelope; Recycled building materials

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Novatek Corporation
Novatek Portable Air Filtration Systems
Air Scrubbers/Negative Air machines for restoration, abatement, dust & odor control, hazardous contaminant removal from job sites to clean rooms and hospitals. Portable, affordable!

Shield Industries, Inc
FireGuard® E-84 Intumescent Coating - Shield Industries, Inc
Trust the certified protection of the industry’s most innovative intumescent coating FireGuard® E-84 to provide you with the 1 and 2 hour fire ratings you need.

Keim Mineral Coatings
Mineral Silicate Paints + Stains Fuse to Concrete
• Forms permanent chemical bonds
• Becomes part of the concrete
• Will never peel
• Looks completely natural


Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@durabilityanddesign.com

The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker


© Copyright 2012-2018, Technology Publishing Co., All rights reserved