Oscar Andres Mendez Gerardino, 34, just won the 2016 Young Entrepreneur Award for his company, Conceptos Plasticos, which provides inexpensive, easy to assemble housing make out of recycled plastic.
Humans are capable of amazing innovations, which can easily be seen in architecture and building projects. Many building innovators of late have focused on sustainable and affordable building methods and materials in an effort to make housing available to all socio-economic demographics.
Conceptos Plasticos is a Columbian company which has developed a new kind of building material made from recycled plastic and rubber. These durable constuction materials are used to make low-cost, safe housing that can be broken down and rebuilt elsewhere if necessary. Their product and it's current and potential impact both socially and environmentally has earned the company the 2016 Young Entrepreneur Award.
It takes five days for four people to assemble a 430sf home with Conceptos Plasticos' building materials. The bricks they produce are a little like legos and fit easily and securely together with tongue-and-groove style connections. They have built over 16,000sf of homes and shelters across Columbia, and have plans to build thousands more, while simultaneously recycling over 300 tonnes of plastic waste.
I'm sure you've seen evidence all over the internet of the magnitude of our pollution, much of which is plastic waste. Plastic can take hundreds of years to break down. Sometimes more than 500 years; it's incredibly durable. What a brilliant solution to help reduce plastic waste and pollution while simultaneously creating durable and affordable housing at a time when housing is a crisis.