Mexican startup Eco Domum, created in 2013, has an ecological and solidarity vocation. Through recycling, it gives a second life to plastic waste and offers low-cost housing to the poor.
The facts are overwhelming: we recycle only 5% of plastic produced annually on the Earth. The rest flew in nature and can take up to a thousand years to decompose. Mexico is twelfth among big plastic consumption countries, with 5 million tons per year.
Faced with this massive pollution, Carlos Daniel González, founder of Eco Domum, whose remarks were reported on the US site Unreasonable, decided to take action: “When I was little, I remember seeing all plastic and contamination it caused, for us and for the animals […] I am always concerned about the environment, so I decided and find a solution to lead the way. ”
This is an environmental project and virtues as solidarity for Mexicans living in the most extreme poverty. The State of Puebla in southern Mexico, where Carlos originates, is one of the poorest in the country. There, 64% of the population lives below the poverty line, that is to say, with 1 euro a day. Unbearable insecurity for Carlos: “I live in a place with a lot of poverty and marginalization problems […] Some people live in truly deplorable conditions in places you cannot even qualify for homes. My vision is very clear. I am convinced that to help more people to have a dignified life I can eradicate extreme poverty and clean my country together. ”
A simple process
Eco Domum collects all kinds of plastics, empty bottles to old toys, and recasts them in the form of large panels that are then used to make walls and roofs. This results to forty square meters houses of two bedrooms, a bathroom, a living room and a kitchen. Building a house of this type requires 80 panels and, at present, EcoDomum can produce up to 120 per day and recycle 5.5 tons of plastic waste per day.
The very resistant plastic properties, harmful to nature, become practical here because they make these waterproof housing, insulating, resistant and affordable. “It only takes seven days to build a house and it uses two tons of plastic,” Carlos tells. Indeed, with social aid provided by the government, a house of this type costs 5,000 pesos to a family (€ 250).
Domum Eco has already built a hundred houses in the region through this process and plans to expand to the whole country in 2016.