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This Home is Built From Recycled Plastic

BBC News | 1:55

This Home is Built From Recycled Plastic

Peter Smisek

13 December 2018

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TACKLING waste plastic has become a hot topic worldwide, with moves to ban single-use plastic items like straws, to large-scale clean-up efforts such as the Ocean Cleanup, an initiative to filter out and eventually recycle waste from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

A number of initiatives, such as plastic roads and floating parks made from recycled plastic are also being explored.

Now, a social enterprise in India's tech hub Hyderabad has come up with a way to turn plastic waste into homes and paving tiles.

Above: A basic house made of recycled plastic has been constructed in Miyapur, Greater Hyderabad, India (image courtesy of Bamboo House India).

Created by Bamboo House India, which normally specialises in using bamboo for construction of permanent eco-friendly homes, the Recycled Plastic House consists of a small indoor space and large shaded outdoor area.

Constructed using 2.5 tonnes of plastic waste, the roof alone is made from 5 million bags.

Above: Plastic waste is used to make building components such as corrugated roofing sheets (image courtesy of Bamboo House India).

Plastic also offers other advantages - its low thermal mass and conductivity ensure that the house does not overheat, unlike more conventional low-cost structures.

Above: The plastic house costs 25% more than similar, traditionally constructed houses (image courtesy of Bamboo House India).

Although the project aims to tackle a serious problem, the plastic house is currently 25% more expensive to build than traditional structures.

Other products, such as recycled plastic paving tiles show more immediate promise.

Above: Hyderabad City Council is using paving tiles made from recycled plastic in its walkways (image courtesy of Bamboo House India).

Hyderabad City Council has recently taken to paving walkways using the plastic paving stones, each of which is made of 600 single-use bags.

Bamboo House India co-founder Prashant Lingam hopes that increased demand for its recycled products will lead to lower costs and even more uptake, helping to solve the country's serious plastic problem.

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