Conceptos Plasticos have created unique bricks made from recycled plastic to address two pressing issues in the world. One being the housing crisis in Latin America where 80% of the population resides in urban areas. The second issue being the plastic crowding landfills all around the world. They recently won $300,000 at the final of a global competition called “The Venture” run by Chivas Regal that aims to find the most innovative start-ups all across the world.
Their solution is helping thousands of people of a fraction of the cost of building with normal bricks. Each of these homes can be constructed for just over $5,000 and will last around 500 years. There’s no construction experience required to build these homes, the plastic bricks fit perfectly together just like Legos.
A house for one family takes four people just five days to build, even if they have absolutely no construction experience. A shelter that houses fourteen families only takes fifteen people, with no construction experience, just 10 days to build.
Can these blocks actually help?
These Lego like bricks make it easy for families to construct their own homes. Local people can build their own town. Their homes, community halls, classrooms, all made without the typical experience of construction.
“The plastic waste we recycle is melted and poured into a mould to produce plastic blocks that work like Lego pieces, allowing whole communities and families to play a part in the easy constructing of their own homes,” says co-founder Oscar Andres Mendez.
In Columbia, they’re already putting these blocks to good use helping 42 different families that were displaced by violence. Conceptos Plasticos helped them build a hostel to stay in and thanks to the plastic blocks the structure can be torn down and built somewhere else in case they ever have to move again.
These cheap, easy to work with bricks can also withstand natural disasters, even fires. The company put an additive that makes the product fire-retardant. They can also resist earthquakes since the blocks are made from plastic.
The company founders were quoted saying, “We hope to create a movement where more and more people get involved. We want to develop new products that can make better use of the thousands and thousands of tons of plastic that is discarded. There will soon be more plastic in the sea than fish, so we really need to do something big.”