by Ben Daviss
The world uses an estimated one million plastic bottles a minute, most of which are thrown away. But, as Canadian start-up JD Composites is showing, people could live in them instead.
On the Nova Scotia coast, the company has built a 2,000-square-foot house out of 612,000 used plastic bottles.
A European processor melted down the bottles and formed them into six-inch-thick plastic panels. JD Composites connected the panels to make the structure, then sheathed the exterior in vinyl siding. Vertical slats were attached to the inside walls, which then were finished with sheetrock.
Inside and out, the house looks like any other home.
Construction costs were roughly equivalent to those of a stick-built house but, because the plastic panels insulate to a value of R-40, heating and cooling costs could be reduced by as much as $2,000 a year compared to wooden homes. Also, the panels are impervious to insects, moisture, and decay.
JD is renting out the house through Airbnb to drum up interest and show it off. The company also has been hired by the Canadian town of Mavilette to build a public restroom facility out of plastic.
Trendpost: The need for housing isn’t shrinking and problem of plastic waste is growing. If this plastic house wears well over its first three years, investors and entrepreneurs could see an opportunity to make plastic housing a new trend at a time when lumber and other conventional housing materials face an uncertain future.