Of the 8.3 billion metric tons that have been produced, 6.3 billion metric tons has become plastic waste. If present trends continue, by 2050, there will be 12 billion metric tons of plastic in landfills.  Mexican company EcoDomum has found a way to turn plastic trash available in abundance in Mexico into cost-efficient housing solutions to address another serious issue – living in extreme poverty.

The houses are built using panels made of recycled plastics. EcoDomum’s plant produces 120 panels a day, transforming and repurposing 5.5 tons of what was once plastic waste.The panels are affordable and durable – “it [the house] will last 100 years without falling apart.” the founder of EcoDomum claims.

The production process goes through several stages including:

  • collecting plastic trash paying collectors fair wages;
  • sorting out plastic pieces to find only the type that can be melted without releasing toxins into the environment;
  • melting the plastics in an oven that heats up to 350 degrees Celsius;
  • the melted plastics go through a hydraulic press, which compresses and crystallizes the plastic into the shape of the panels.

Images via Eco Domum

This Startup Turns Plastic Waste into Affordable Housing

This post is part of a series of stories featuring the entrepreneurs who participated in Unreasonable Mexico’s second annual program. Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the Earth four times. Of the plastics produced, we only recover (or divert from landfills) about five percent.