Ecuador: Discarded Plastic Bottles being used for thatch roofing

Posted on December 11, 2014 • Filed under: Culture, Ecuador, Enviromental Issues – David McNair / Five years ago, strategic management professor David Saiia traveled with his students from New York’s Ithaca College to Ecuador for a project creating sustainable livelihoods in conservation regions disrupted by logging and poaching. But the team noticed another problem that was all around them: plastic bottles.

“I would find them in the most remote places imaginable,” Saiia said. “I would be on the 2,000-year-old Yumbo Calunco trails and find plastic waste.”

According to Saiia, nearly 8 trillion plastic bottles are discarded around the world each year.

His students at the time challenged him: What could they build from all that plastic? Together, they came up with rudimentary drawings for a machine that could cut plastic bottles into strips to use as roof thatching in a rainforest region that sees precipitation nearly every day. Read Article

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