Plastic Bottle Homes and Greenhouses

Americans threw away 33 million tons of plastic in 2013, according to the EPA. How long does it take a plastic bottle to degrade in a landfill? Some say 500 years, some say 1,000. Plastic hasn’t been around long enough. We (in our lifetime) will never know how long today’s petroleum-based plastic bottles take to break down in the environment. But we can do something with them while they’re around.

Plastic Bottle Homes Around the World

house with green roof

plastic bottle home

eco tea house glass bottle house Eco-Tec’s Casa de la Fe. Used vehicle wheel rims make up the foundation and some of the pillars.

plastic bottle house Casa de la Fe (Faith House) Honduran Foundation for the Rehabilitation and Integration of the Handicapped. The texture of the outside surface depends on which way the bottles face. eco-tecnologia.com

plastic bottle construction Eco Tec’s Sky Field House under construction.


How To Help? Buy A Reusable Water Bottle

The best thing, of course, would be to stop using plastic water bottles completely. We recommend these eco-friendly, reusable water bottles.


glass and plastic bottle house An Eco-Tec home in Bolivia. PET bottle bottoms on the left. Wine bottle bottoms on the right.

wine bottle house This home in Bolivia incorporates lots of wine bottles as well as PET bottles. Here they used concrete pillars instead of PET columns.

plastic bottle house Eco-Tec Africa – solving Nigeria’s housing shortage. Ecotec-Africa & physorg.com

polli rlastic bricks Polli’s self interlocking plastic bricks are translucent thereby allowing the play of natural light to shine through. The manufacturers add they are good thermal and sound insulators and can withstand hurricane force winds. No BPA, but wish they could make the fireproof backing curtain for walls out of something other than PVC. Can be used for walls, greenhouses, roofs, etc.

plastic bottle house Ecological Bottle House, near the Iguazu Falls, Misiones, Argentina.

bottle cap curtains Photo credit: Xinhua/Martin Zabala. Love the bottle cap curtains!

plastic bottle room The family will instruct anyone who is up for a visit, or if you pay for their travel expenses, they will come to you. sites.google.com

plastic bottle wall Water bottle wall in Danone office, Tokyo. Great idea as partitions in an office!

plastic bottle wall The Morimoto Restaurant’s bottle wall in NYC is composed of 17,400 half liter plastic bottles filled with mineral water and then backlit with LED lights.

plastic bottle wall Water bottle wall. The wall is two stories high.

plastic bottle wall Back outside…

Plastic Bottle Greenhouses

plastic bottle greenhouse Plastic bottle greenhouse on Blue Rock Station, Ohio. This one sits on old tires and is made from 1000 2-liter plastic soft drink bottles. Flickr photo by ticticticticboom

bottle greenhouse Plastic bottle greenhouses are all the rage in Europe. Picasa-Cudlees.

plastic bottle green house Owlsoup Photo on Flickr

plastic bottle greenhouse Plastic Bottle Greenhouse

plastic bottle fence Photo by bryanilona on Flickr

plastic bottle shed A Danish plastic bottle shed. Flickr photo By christof

Plastic Bottle House Innovations

plastic bottle house Eco-Tec’s Ecoparque El Zamorano, Honduras.

Ecological House: Constructed with 8,000 bottles with composting toilets and a solar water heating system. The green roof can weigh 30 tons when wet and has been supported by the walls without any extra reinforcement. It is the first house in the world made from PET bottles without using cement in the walls.

serbia plastic bottle house

Tomislav Radovanic, a retired math professor from central Serbia has built a house of waste plastic. “The house is comfortable and it practically cost me nothing,” Radovanovic said, adding that the bottles are good insulators. The foundation is concrete but all else is plastic; gutters, windows and furniture are made from recycled bottles. Freerepublic.com

plastic bottle house

 

Eco Tec’s Sky Field House: The first vaulted ceiling using PET bottles.

All Eco-tec projects have a strong social focus. Most of the PET bottles used are recovered in clean-up campaigns and recycling drives. The community then fills them with sand. They train the unemployed and handicapped in their construction methods. They build water tanks, schools, community centers, urban benches as well as homes. Andreas Froese, Eco-Tec’s inventor hopes to also build some PET homes in Haiti utilizing construction debris. Most of the PET bottles used are recovered in clean-up campaigns and recycling drives. (www.eco-tecnologia.com)

 

Ecological Bottle House, near the Iguazu Falls, Misiones, Argentina.

Alfredo Santa Cruz and his family built this house and matching play house out of used plastic bottles, Tetra Packs and CD cases. They used 1200 PET plastic bottles for the walls, 1300 milk and wine Tetra Pack boxes for the roof, 140 CD cases for the doors and windows, plus 320 PET bottles for the furniture. (sites.google.com)

polli brick building Taiwan’s plastic bottle building: EcoARK Exhibition Hall.

Not just a bottle picked off the street. Polli-Brick from Minimize is made from recycled PET bottles. The building can be disassembled and then reassembled elsewhere. Looks like that might take a bit of time though as the building is 279 feet long.

Plastic Bottle Houses Under Construction

water bottle wall Plastic Bottle Construction. Cement.

plastic bottle construction details Plastic Bottle Construction. Adobe.

plastic bottle construction Plastic Bottle Construction. Eco-Tec in Bolivia

plastic bottle water tank Plastic Bottle Construction. Eco-Tec builds many cisterns/water tanks.

water bottle construction Plastic Bottle Construction. How to make an arch.

plastic bottle fence A painted wall.

water bottle construction Eco-Tec’s aquaduct.

How To Build A Plastic Bottle House

Plastic Bottle House Videos

Written by Keiren

Keiren is an artist who lives in New York City. A lover of animals, nature, science & green building. Keiren originally founded Inspiration Green in 2007, which merged with Insteading in 2016.

334 Comments

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  1. I am currently looking for alternative building methods and am going to investigate this further. How well does this type of housing do in colder climates?

  2. Hey Guys, I stumbled onto your site yestrday. I am currently building a project out of recycled beer, whiskey, wine, and various other glass bottles. As soon as it is complete, I will send ya’ll some photos. I am a 20 year exp’d mason in almost every field of masonry, now, glass bottles,too. I’m interested in getting some info on going to other regions of the world and teaching others how to build their own houses/structures out of recycled materials. If there are any programs ya’ll offer to facilitate my interests, please contact me at my E-mail addresss. P.S. I am not trying to capitalize on this, just help others, however, I am not in a position to embark on an indeavor like this in the financial straight I am in. if ya’ll can help me help others, let me know 😉

  3. I live in the boston, ma. area and the coke company recycle those bottles for about 5 cents a piece, otherwise, its a good idea.

  4. Hello,

    Just to congratulate you for this great idea.

    I live in Kenya right now, I am wondering if I can help you in any ways.

    Moreover, next year I am going to move to Spain. (I am Spanish), so let me know if you have any branch in Spain to collaborate with.

  5. We also run a waste segregation centre at Khangchendzonga, the third highest mountain peak of the world, Sikkim India.

    We are also planning to use this collected waste into eco-tech and learning parks. Is it possible to get your videos, can i download ur you tube video. if possible please share me more documents on eco-tech using plastic bottles.

  6. Hi,

    If you look at Eco-Tec’s website, there is a lot more info there. https://www.eco-tec-solutions.com

    Videos, more pictures, a step by step download of how to build a water tank.

    Also check out the plastic bottle school’s page for different construction ideas. Best to you. Keiren

  7. I came across this site while looking at alternitives to exterior walls for my home and fell in love with the beauty of some of these places!

  8. I like this idea.It’s terrific to see how people in different regions are using waste materails.and thereby turning it to a more eco friendly use.Love the houses.I am very interested in the concept.Garbage is aplenty,it is how you incorporate it into ur/our lives.Good work to those people.Genius.

  9. This is cool, I enjoyed looking at these beautiful structures made of bottles which we usually not paying attention at all. I thank God for inspiring the people who started doing this great ideas. God bless you all.

  10. i think this is a great idea. i would like to make 1 for my patio. i’m 58 and having trouble moving around and i so miss having a garden. this is going to make my life a lot easier. how would i start my my mini green house. i don’t own so i would like to take it with me.? t/u

  11. What about out gassing (of BPA)? Has that been considered and how have you dealt with it? I love your work, just want to know if/how you’ve handled this problem- thx

  12. Is this project possible in New England? I’m a college student, president of Habitat for Humanity on our campus, and I would like to build a small structure using these techniques on our campus.

  13. Hi Jenny, I suppose it depends on what the use of the structure will be. In certain U.S. states it would be very difficult to acquire a building permit for a home for this type of structure. But for a shed or greenhouse you do not need a permit, unless you live in a neighborhood with specific covenants against them. Kudos to you as to being involved with Habitat, it such a great organization. I hope you get to build something!

  14. I think it’s absolutely the best creative idea i’ve seen in a long time, great job i just love the pictures…….

  15. greetings. 2 yrs ago, in a small village on Lago (Lake) Atilan in the western highlands, I met a young American couple volunteering for an organization erecting buildings (houses, schools) from plastic bottles. I don’t have the info, (the name of the organization with me at this time) but it was very interesting.

  16. I think this is absolutely inspiring.. #Thanks.. I’m going to experiment.

    Question.. wouldnt the plastic degrade and crack when put under such pressure or in concrete??

  17. i love the pics of eco tek plastic buildings and other bottle ideas…the cisterne is great!

    how beautiful the results can be!

    Thank you!

  18. Hello,

    My name is Maurilio Rico and I first want to say that this is an amazing idea to create architecture. But I also want to say if you create a structure with only water bottles exposed to sunlight do you think it’s going to be really hot inside of the structure? I’m saying this because I also want to create something similar to this for a competition.

    Thank you.

  19. I’m putting together a book called Epilepsy Korps and I’m

    organizing people with Epilepsy globally to introduce new green technologies. I’d like to use your website for one to visit in my book. Please email me with your response.

  20. Hi, i have been trying to help a family in Sierra Leone build a sustainable house and garden, i have persuaded them that a bottle house is the way to go but could use a little help with some questions that have come up… like, how do you make the foundations? do you have to use cement, or can you use mud? and if you use a wood frame how is this made stable is it cemented in the ground or fixed down to cement footings? Any help would be gratefully received. Thanks Daisy

  21. I live in the UK and an trying to think of a way to recycle the plastic milk bottles as a floor in the shed I am wanting to make out of pallets.

    I an wondering what to fill them with, needs to be free or very cheap.

    The plan is to stand them upside down, not sure what I am doing after that. Hoping it will provide some insulation.

    Any thoughts and ideas would be great.

  22. I think you might have to fill them with some type of mud cement. If you filled them with sand they would not support weight and cave in here and there. Same as to the foundation you embed them in, some type of earthen cement….

    Good luck! Hope it comes out fantastic!

  23. dear sir if this bottle full by water so this is

    working we wank strong room made by bottle

    & looking nice like fancy room.

  24. Wow! Wow! Wow! Very inspirational. I’m going to make the bottletop ‘bead’ curtains rather than throw them in the recycling.

  25. I love the idea of recycling anything. This idea is fabulous plus it has a cool look to it. On the opposite end I say STOP drinking the stuff that comes in the 2LT bottle as it is very bad for you.

  26. would like to see a tutorial on how to build the green house and where to collect bottles for the project. I live in north central Florida and this would be grate for this area.

  27. Please Mail Me Detail Information About Foundation For Same structure and More detail of it . Please

    Can we build Ground + more floors with this type of structure?

  28. I personally just put together blog posts and do not build these buildings, so I am not an expert.

    But do check out Eco-tec’s How to Booklet, link above.

    Also look here: https://bottleschools.org/wiki/Main_Page – see foundations.

    Or write to eco-tec themselves, as they have built hundreds of these buildings.

    I would think the foundation would be dependent on what you have available in your local. Stones, cement, tires or digging down and using the bottles and mortar.

    Hopefully you will find an answer. Best, Keiren

  29. I had a question I hope you could help me with, actually 2 questions please. 1.) what is used to pack in the gaps after the wall is built? is it mortar or cement? Also can trash bottle bricks also be used or is there a reason they have to be filled with sand? I am going to build a shed using this method for a first project and any advice would be great. Thanks for your time, Marc.

  30. What a great idea. I wish local authorities could be forced to allow this style of construction instead of all their caveats on colours, style, materials etc. These authorities need a good kick in the backside to look into this use of plentiful ‘rubbish’.

    Love it…

  31. Good on you for coming up with so much diversity in using recycle materials. Hard work but definitely worth the effort especially in these hard economic times.

    Well done and keep up the good work.

  32. Thanks for this inspirational website. My friend Nicola Peel has helped lots of communities build bottle buildings by filling the empty plastic bottles with rubbish – uses up bottles and gets rid of the rubbish (which also creates greater thermal mass) which otherwise just pollutes the countryside. I will send her a link to you, in case she hasn’t seen your wonderful photos.

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