Closing the cycle of plastic - decent housing solutions from recycled plastics. Low-cost, safe, durable housing that can be broken down and rebuilt elsewhere if necessary.

Oscar Mendez wanted to provide decent housing for the homeless while reducing waste plastic. So he founded the Columbian Enterprise concept plastics. They process and mould used plastics and rubbers into bricks similar to lego pieces, then assemble them into high quality and low cost houses for people in need.

South of the Colombian Pacific, there were armed conflicts that forced the settlers to leave their homes and move to the urban center of the municipality, without their belongings, without a roof and with only what they could carry in their hands is necessary to shelter hundreds of families looking for a temporary or permanent shelter. "We design pieces need to know that for the construction of the shelter, acquire and transform the raw material (recycled plastic approx 120TM) and ship construction elements for them to residents of the region can realize the construction. Two weeks later, 1200m2 of rooms and sanitary facilities are ready to host this population, more than 400 people may have a roof and several of them are trained to build," explain Mendez for Changemakers

The impact they really seek is to alleviate the rural housing deficit in Colombia (to start) 1,200,000 housing units. "So far these projects have given reuse 300 tons of plastic, we have an installed capacity of 100 tons per month capacity, but seek to expand this capability to deliver 300 tons to 50 homes per month in the first stage, as well as to scale and replicate our solution with technology transfer and assembly plants."

Project began about one year ago, the research takes about 12 years and now they are in the process of introduction in the market and raising awareness of the product, its environmental, social and economic benefits. "We are reaching the point of equilibrium and involving more products to the portfolio, understanding as brand destruction, disposal of waste and disposal certificates, all this in order to help in the extended producer responsibility."

Simply remarkable, this concept could change everything in the developing world!

Did you know?

  • In Latin America, Africa and Asia, 40% of people don't have access to formal housing.
  • In Bogota, Colombia, 750 tonnes of plastic is sent to landfill every day. It can take up to 500 years for plastic to biodegrade.

July 8, 2016 Living photo: Changemakers

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