HOW A COMPANY IN COLOMBIA IS BUILDING HOUSES MADE OUT OF RECYCLED PLASTIC
By 2050, global production of plastics will triple with estimates suggesting it will account for 15% of the world’s carbon budget. A failure to address the mountains of waste in the developing world could result in as much plastic in our oceans as fish. Oscar Andres Mendez cites “terrifying” statistics like these as his motivation to move the sustainable solutions industry forward. Growing up in Bogota and studying both Architecture and Social Entrepreneurship, Oscar became aware of the serious problem caused by plastic waste in Latin America, as well as a housing deficit of 45% in each country.
His company Conceptos Plásticos is a sustainable construction company that directly tackles both these issues. Conceptos Plásticos transforms plastic and rubber waste into an alternative construction material for housing, shelters and classrooms. Fire and earthquake resistant, the Lego-style building blocks provide cheap housing solutions that are simple to assemble; with communities and families able to construct their own homes after a short training session. In recycling plastic to build homes, plastic is prevented from going to landfills, reducing water and energy consumption, and also reducing CO2 emissions.