Building using PET bottle

Empowering communities to solve the problem of waste

Photo of Andreas Froese
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Do you confirm that you have read and accept the terms and conditions of the Nestlé CSV Prize?

  • Yes

Eligibility

  • I’m 18 or older
  • I’m fluent in English
  • My organization is a nonprofit, for-profit, or hybrid organization, or has a fiscal sponsor
  • I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, and that I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2020.

How did you hear about the CSV Prize?

  • Ashoka Network

Last Name

Rentería

First Name

Silvia

Role in the Organization

Oficial de project

Are you an Ashoka Fellow?

  • no

Have you applied to previous versions of the CSV Prize?

  • no

Name of the Organization

Ecotec soluciones ambientales

Founding Year

2000

Website of the Organization

www.eco-tecnologia.com

Facebook of the Organization

Ecotec soluciones ambientales

Headquarters Location

Ejido Jame, Arteaga, Mexico

Type of Organization

  • For-Profit

Location(s) of Impact

Honduras,Tegucigalpa,zamorano. Lloro,guanajo, Roatan ,utila,caballo de piedra valle de ángeles san pero sula and much more Nicaragua: guatemala: lake atitlan Mexico: salinas victoria, Jame, Dr. Arollo, guetnavaca Saltillo General sepeda chile: valdivia USA: vermont Germany: Hamm in westfahlen Suiza: Leon Ungarn : Budapest India: Trivandrum Uganda : small villages Ghana: Senegal: Dakar Nigeria: Abuja, y Small Villages There are 13 countries were I have developed projects

Maturity Stage

  • Scaling (the solution has passed the previous stages and is growing its impact on a regional or global scale)

Focus Area

  • What can food & beverage packaging become after consumption to be a resource for new usage?
  • What ground-up solutions are there to tackle packaging waste in communities?

Description of the Organization

We are a team of two people, where my partner Silvia Renteria does the administration and liaison work and I, Andreas Froese, train communities in the Ecotec technique to develop projects. Our work begins when we show people that when we separate and select our waste, we can reuse it and transform it into a solution. This is the transformation of waste into something useful, we change people's vision. Before our training, waste ended up in streets, rivers, streams, vacant lots, or holes in the field. There is no value in waste. After our training, people understand that when separating and selecting their waste, things change. The waste becomes organic compost and the bottles and packaging become bricks with which we build schools, bathrooms, classrooms, tanks to store water and if legal conditions allow it, we have built houses. Before training most of our students do not have the ability to build for example a water tank, afterwards they can replicate it and if we have more time.

The Initiative

We started in 2019 an initiative called Waste Without Borders, which has the intention of promoting the separation from the source of waste, it is aimed at civil society, as a community proposal before companies and the government. The vision is that an approach of responsibility be created between the company-the consumer-the government. We have motivated people through social networks to introduce their packaging into a bottle (eco-bricks) so that they can start the separation from their home, school or office. Our goal is to build water storage tanks and toilets for schools in problem areas. We seek to link with companies that can sponsor these projects and train more and more people so that no bottle and no packaging are polluting the world. Waste Without Bordes, motivates the community to collect bottles of certain characteristics to develop specific projects. For example, in May 2020 we began a construction we need 2,500 bottles of pet. the community cooperated with them.

The Problem

I have focused on the management of domestic waste, because when I traveled for the first time in the 80s to Mexico and Central America, I was impressed how people do not care about waste and the environment. And I asked myself, if I had been born in a poor neighborhood like these that I saw, where violence, poverty and drug abuse is the daily thing, what would I do to change this reality? I worked for many years in Honduras and one day, seeing the amount of plastic bottles that tourists left in a park, I thought that it was not enough to send them to the sanitary landfill, it just moved a problem from one place to another. It occurred to me that they could be bricks and that's where my passion began to show people that every bottle of pet is a brick. I experimented with construction for a while and I continue to do so, developing innovations training communities with my own resources always with the idea that each bottle made into a brick is one less bottle polluting streams or seas

The Solution

Our movement seeks to generate awareness of a tripartite model: company-consumer-government, motivating each party to take responsibility for the management of waste, but in a shared way. We seek to change the system by involving its parts, seeking a synergy and an understanding in which we are all producers, we are all consumers and we are all part of the government. We are not separated, we are just constantly changing roles. We always seek to do it in small communities and with practical examples, motivating people, informing and training them. We developed a system for transferring our technology mainly aimed at raising awareness in the community. Training is through a simple method: learning by doing, must be community to achieve the goal of collecting thousands of bottles. Our technique does not require machinery or sophisticated tools; college is not required to make eco-bricks. It does not discriminate between sex, political preferences, race, abilities, social status, etc.

The Innovation

I started the construction with pet bottles 20 years ago, since then, many people have copied this constructive system, however I designed a 4-point biomimetic tie that I called EcoTec, Bi4PVS® that guarantees the safety of the construction, with an efficacy of 21 years. The other solutions that I know of need use machinery to make bricks with plastics that they mix with cement and sand. Our system is more complex in the training part, since it requires the ability to understand the community and its problems, but the technique is simple and does not require more than a wooden stick to compact the earth or the packaging, a wheelbarrow and shovel, and 1 person with knowledge of masonry. It is focused on using lime, local materials, the local earth or sand, stones or rubble from around the project site and using as little cement as possible. The community that is being trained learns to carry out urban mining to build.

The Impact

With more than 100 works on 4 continents, an average of 20 people have been trained per project and an average of 500,000 bottles have been used that are not polluting, which have become a useful work. The biggest impact from my point of view is that in training the community you acquire skills and confidence that you did not have before. When we build a water tank in a school there is no discussion, because they have decided. When I see, for example, in Nigeria, Muslims and Christians working together in a water tank for a mosque, or when a young member of a street gang collects organic waste and plastic waste and then composts it and buildings, the community is watching. this. When disabled people in wheelchairs or even blind people are filling the bottle, it has become local news at times. When the paramilitaries and former guerrillas worked together with the police and army personnel who suffered a disability due to the violence, I think it has an impact.

The Business Model

The developments achieved in these years of research and implementation are transferred to the communities through education and training strategies, as well as specialized consultancies. These services are paid for by non-governmental organizations, universities and local governments. We seek to promote our services by presenting our proposals throughout the year. Annual income is distributed with 80% payment from fees and product sales and 20% from individual donations and gifts. The investment of a client for a project It depends on the type of project and the daily fees are USD $ 800 or per week they are USD $ 3,100, tax free. The contractor will provide: Transportation and costs of accommodation, meals and transfers of the work team, The place, logistics, materials and tools that guarantee the execution of the project.

2020 Budget

  • $1k - $10k

Projected Budget

  • $1k - $10k

The Scalability

I think we already proved that our system has the potencial to be replicate because we have already more than 100 project in 4 continents What we need i think is to fiend a organization who have the capacity to open really training center in all countries were the waste manegemt is failing and were the people need income and water and toilets and we don't need machine ore tools and with one bricklayer in the group that we training we are sure that the know how will survive in the community In many communities, the most outstanding students continued the construction with pet bottles and have trained more people, with whom we continue to communicate to see if they are doing it properly. The system is replicable, due to its social and environmental benefits, many people seek support to build with bottles, so it is important to find financing. The dream of our company is to train the largest number of people in different training centers and universities to continue with research.

The Collaboration

We have written to Nestlè on several occasions, proposing our project. If we want to have a collaboration with the company, since we are sure that we can form training centers in various communities around the world, with the financing of the company. I believe that Nestle could be the leader of a new way of waste management, proposing that no product that comes from Nestle is polluting beaches, streams, the countryside. It can show other industries that there are new forms of collaboration in a company-consumer (civil society) -government system, advancing the system to a new way of looking at waste.

The Video

I could see in a plastic bottle, a brick ... I think it is important to mention that Susanne Heisse (PURA VIDA GUATEMALA) invented in 2007 the personal waste container that I call ecoladrillo (bottle filled with plastic waste) and I assure you that you can build water tanks and toilets with these bricks of the same so that those that I invent filled with earth. The innovation that I make to Susanne's invention is to build tanks and baths, applying my technique of mooring and earth to glue.

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