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. What an awesome site. I have sat looking through this with great excitement. Bottled water is such a neccessary commodity in some of these countries, and to see the empty bottles put to such worthwhile use, is amazing. I am thinking of ways to use them in my garden as small features, or wind breaks, or shade areas. I could go on and on. This is amazing. Thank you for sharing.

  2. The idea of using plastic bottle to build house is great we need to put more effort on it so that our people and the world as a whole can benefit from it thank you

  3. I am very motivated in building a place to plant herbs and vegetables with my students of high-school, actually they are very happy, and they have lots of fun working together to save our planet. But I’m not an expert, I need help. I do not know how to start, because I’m using the school terrace which obviously is made of cement. I think to use cement and sand to make the base. What do you think? Please reply.

  4. Hi Rosario,

    Nice that you and your students are so eager to help the planet.

    I must admit it is very hard to help when I cannot see (nor experience) your environment. But I guess you are asking about a base for the plastic bottles. Yes, cement would be good.

    Here are four helpful sites:

    https://bottleschools.org/wiki/Main_Page

    https://www.peacecorps.gov/resources/media/medstories/1572/

    Eco-Tec How to booklet: docs.google.com

    Eco-Tec Frequently Asked Questions: http://www.eco-tec-solutions.com

    I hope that helps and you find enough info on these pages to get you going.

  5. buying some property up in Colorado in another year. Going to build me a bottle house, green house, maybe a big cisturn too. With the thick walls, it will insulate against the cold snow and winter in Colorado I think. Especially if I build it down a few feet into the ground.

  6. sir , as i have selected this as my project that is use of these solid waste in construction of houses for slum, rural , and urban areas … can u help me in suggesting some ideas .. so that an economical .. and maximum use of solid waste can be made out ..

    and one more thing double story and triple story construction is possible using these solid waste ..

    it will be a pleasure for me if i get some help frm u sir …

  7. This project is totally awesome. I was just looking with my ten year old daughter of earth day project ideas that we could use recycled water bottles for. We will not be making a building but she has learned what is being done with bottles and providing housing for homeless. Kudos!!!!

  8. This post is absolutely amazing – I try to use plastic bottles in my garden recycling, mostly for borders, but this has given me so many more ideas – thanks!

  9. This is a fantastic idea as long as the bottles are recycled and not new. I notice there’s a classroom which says it’s made from 9,000 bottles supplied by Pepsi. It doesn’t say if these are recycled. If not then it sort of defeats the object of reducing waste

  10. Absolutely amazing use of a product that is treated with such disrespect!

    I once went to a conference about the plastic industry, where they were discussing the masses of money, that went into the technology to make plastic bottles.

    I said that sometime in the future whew will be retrieving the plastic from landfill , as it will eventually be a valuable resource, once oil reverses have run out!

    Why do we leave it to the last minute to do the right things in life?

  11. hello, I am a Science teacher at the Our Lady of Mercy School, in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro). Our middle school students are building a life size house out of water bottles. We are not really sure how to assemble the walls in the most ecological way possible. we intend to use hot glue to place one bottle on the top of the other inside a wood frame but we are afraid the result won’t be as firm as we desire. what other procedure can we use without using cement?

  12. I want to try it in our province here in the Philippines….it will help a lot of poor people here to have descent homes. Thanks for sharing I’ll be researching on it. I hope it can adapt in a prone flood area and earthquake.

  13. How about if people just don’t buy throw away plastic bottles in the first place.

    I saw a guy all proud that he built a greenhouse and a raft out of his plastic bottles. Can’t for the life of me figure out why he’s ‘green’ but he’s the one buying plastic bottles. Ugggg…

  14. You can fill the bottles with paper, plastic shopping bags (who doesn’t have enough of those), plastic wrapping from packaged foods, aluminum foil, chip bags and a whole bunch of other stuff too long to list. I tried it. I have about 50 bottles stuffed to date. It’s all in the technique. YOu have to stuff the bottle to and almost beyond capacity. I use a butter knife and a mixing spoon with a very long handle. I am determined!

  15. show some video regarding the construction of structures using plastic bottles. is it tested to with stand earthquake or any weather related threats

  16. This is fantastic and would like to see more things such as water tanks and furniture. I live in Peru and there are areas where people still have no running water and live in straw huts.

  17. Wow! I am a teacher from Guyana and I am thinking about how to help my students use plastic bottle in a creative way as it is a serious problem here with disposal.

    Thank You!

  18. This is an awesome page overall, I give it a 10 / 10, these picture’s are unmatched.

    I especially enjoyed the greenhouses made from recycled glass / windows. Very crafty, keep up the good work!

    – Whitney Segura

  19. I’m an 81-yr-old nun who back in the early ’80s converted an old chicken barn into a super-insulated solar house – using mostly reused materials. This story is thrilling. I may just have to make a bottle greenhouse as I am a gardener – (have been ill this year so will not be able to dig up my garden next Spring) THANKS !!

  20. We just finish a bungalow in Panama made with plastic and glass bottles, wood and river stones thanks to your website ideas!

  21. Hello,

    I been looking into helping a friend build a house in Honduras, using recyling material. I wanted to see if you can provide information or people with experience who we may meet.

  22. Hai sir,

    Its really nice, i have taken this as my project. bt, i hav a doubt, sand took the maximum part in this project. Is there any idea to replace sand in the bottles?

    i am from tamil nadu, in my state sand’s cost is too high so we are not ready to use sand this much thatswhy am asking! give me some ideas,

    thank you

  23. Just use your local soil! If your soil has a good amount of clay in it, even better as bricks are made from clay. Actually if you mix a small amount of water with clay soil you will make bricks. Hope that works for you. Best, Keiren

  24. Sir, I just read in the news paper that houses are built with water bottles and sand at a very low cost.

    As I belong to a middle class family iI cannot afford to build a house of my own. So I want to know about this type of building structures and I want to know whether it is possible to build a house with water bottles and sand. If so whom to contact

  25. Hi all,

    this is a great idea, but if any natural disaster happen, then all the people living inside those type of house sure DIE … be careful about this method.

    Thanks & cheers ,

    Jack

  26. Very nice!

    I’m building a cordwood masonry home. (second alternative building home built)

    Now that I see this, I think humm, this should be the next project and I can save some trees!

    But, this would take a hell of a lot of bottles. Gotta start finding, saving and collecting them from where ever, for a long, long time before you begin.

    To answer about earthquakes, storms, safety and etc…(the best I can without knowing ‘exactly’ the process)

    The houses that I see where the bottles are filled with sand and ‘mortared’ in, should be very sound structures. In fact I’d venture to say, better then many stick frame homes.

    I’d stand my cordwood home up against any stick frame home in a tornado. The cordwood and sand/water bottle homes are somewhat similar. You just need a good foundation, good headers, post and beams, etc…you’ll have a very strong house.

  27. Hello. I love this idea. We are going to build the interior walls out of earth filled bottles. Many benefits, a strong load bearing wall, thermal mass, fire resistant, reduce heating and cooling bills. Reuses manmade renewal resources. And the bottles and dirt are free.

    Jack. This type of construction is not dangerous. It is actually safer and less expensive and saves a lot of trees.

    We are not using sand. We have to buy that here in Missouri. We are using our dirt which is 80% Clay and 20% rock. We are using a 1/4 inch screen and packing the bottles with little rocks in them. They compress very well. For a 16.9oz bottle they become a 2 pound brick.

    http://www.severinearthship.weebly.com

  28. I would so appreciate some how to tips to ‘build’ the plastic bottle coffee table. It’s not clear how it achieves its stability and how the bottles are connected to each other. Thanks in advance!

    Also, any tips on how to use recycled plastic bottles to build a DIY water pond fountain?

  29. Thank you for the amazing photologue. Your work is superb. Thanks to ecotec’s inspiration we hope to start a project of our own in Indonesia. Best to you and your team.

  30. good for construction . economical and high strength durability . but i have a doubt for this construction . how to make multistory building ?

    by this method and how to provide foundation.

  31. Dear sir/mam,

    I would like to know the sitting chair concept. How stable it is?..can you suggest some good project for me? I am an undergraduate college student and I have enough amount of bottles. So please help me thorough this.

    Thanks,

    Anand

  32. Thank you for all the work you have done with the plastic bottles. I am very interested in building a home, but I have a few questions. I live in Northern Minnesota,getting as cold as 30 to 40 below zero (Fahrenheit) not including wind chill in the winter and our footings would have to go at least 7 feet down because of frost, so I would really like to build a basement, I am wondering how I could do that. I have been reading all that I can find and I am thinking about building a double wall with an air space in between and filling it with cellulose. I am wondering how it would handle the cold? and I am wondering how to tie in the floor above the basement. I have a small amount of building experience, but never anything this big. Thank you for your help. 🙂

  33. dear sir,

    i am from india gujarat state. i want to make a very huge wall in my native place. bcs cost of materiasl is very high. my frnd suggest me to make a plastic boll as a wall. but i dont know how to make it and which type used.

    so pls guide me how to make and what the materiasl.

    regards

    chandresh sinhara

    9558802966

  34. Hi, I’m a student at the University of Michigan and am part of a project team that is working on building a rainwater harvesting system. I think this design is very intriguing. I have some questions about the capabilities of this design.

    How large can a water tank with this design be made?

    Is there an additional layer used to make the tank waterproof or is the cement waterproof as is?

    Can the walls support a roof and if so, what type of roof is recommended for stability and ease of construction?

    How much time does it usually take to build a given sized wall?

    How much materials and costs are associated with a given sized wall?

    Can you add on layers onto the walls after the structure is made?

    How long do you have to wait for the cement to dry before adding another layer?

  35. Hi, I have been looking at a lot of these water bottle house projects and I think it is such a wonderful idea to help out people in need of a home.

    I would love to be able to help In some way and I was thinking of sending water bottles I go through (which is kind of a lot). I do not however know how I would get my water bottles to a place that needs them. Do you have any suggestions?

    Thank you!

  36. Brilliant job guys, I like your idea of using waste in such a useful way. I will adapt this method and use it together with my group of local children as we are dealing with environmental education, so with this we going to build ourselves a library for this kids and I am sure it would be fantastic after we finished it. Thank you so much guys this is the way forward for sustainable environment .

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