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15/08 Saturday 01:32PM

all bottled up!

A non-profit organisation in Guatemala, Hug It Forward, has used plastic bottles found in litter scattered around the countryside's villages and built new schools.  The technology, developed by another Guatemalan non-profit organisation, Pura Vida, allow the schools to be built for less than $10,000. The plastic bottles are stuffed with trash, tucked between supportive chicken wire and coated in layers of concrete to form walls between the framing. The bottle provide the insulation while more structurally sound materials such as  wood are used for frames.

The project also teaches local children about the environment by engaging them to help gather the bottles that end up on the schools' walls. A two-classroom schoolhouse built by Hug It Forward in Granados used 5,000 bottles which were taken off the streets and rubbish heap.  Hug It Forward has already built 12 schools around the country and they have four more under way.

Elsewhere in the world, bottles are beautifully utilised to create buildings for different functions. In Bangkok, The Temple of a Million Bottles, built by Buddhist monks consist of over a million beer bottles.  The green roofs are made out of bottles of Heineken while the walls are from local Chang beer.

bottle temple

The eco-friendly Theravada Buddhist monks of Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew started collecting beer bottles around 1984.  Back then the bottles were only used for making decorations. Later, as the bottles accumulated over the years, they were used as construction materials.  To date, the temple monks have built a complex of some 20 buildings, almost entirely of beer bottles.  The complex includes prayer rooms, a crematorium, a water tower, tourist washrooms and the main temple. There are also several bungalows which serve as the monks living quarters.

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