Nottingham students build a sustainable future bottle by bottle
A group of nine students at the University of Nottingham have created a social enterprise that will provide vulnerable communities with safe, affordable housing made from recycled plastic bottles.
Bottle by Bottle operate as part of Enactus, an international, not for profit, student-led organisation. Nottingham's Enactus team works to transform the lives of people in need through the power of business. Guided by Nottingham University Business School, students set up social enterprises that provide employment as well as social and environmental benefits.
In November 2016, Bottle by Bottle finished constructing a prototype house made from 1800 plastic bottles on Nottingham's University Park campus. Never before have students built a structure this size entirely made of plastic bottles. The aim of the prototype was not to build a full size house, but to practice all the techniques necessary to build one in future. Using a unique technique in which the bottles are filled with sand, tied together with string and then secured with mortar and wire, Bottle by Bottle have successfully built all the components required for a safe and impressive plastic bottle home.
They are now ready to build the real thing in the communities that need them. In 2017, the team will take their new technique to a village in Nepal, where lack of housing is a key issue following last year's earthquake.
Although one-off buildings made of plastic bottles have been done before, this kind of project has never been developed into a long-term enterprise. Bottle by Bottle is the only social enterprise of its kind and the students plan to turn their project into a sustainable social enterprise that will empower people and change lives for many years to come.
Bottle by Bottle’s business has three main aims: to create safe and affordable structures in the developing world, while also incorporating waste management and creating jobs for the local community where employment is sparse. Getting the local community involved is key to the success and sustainability of the project. Once complete, their plastic bottle houses will be sold for a third of the price of conventional housing.
To find out more about Bottle by Bottle contact Emily Dix
Posted on Thursday 5th January 2017