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Anyone interested on bottle brick

Ahana Shrestha
Practical Action
related country: Sudan
related country: Sudan

A question from Tom Parker Email :

Your question : Bottle-Brick is a team of students working at the University of Cambridge to produce a system that can turn used plastic water bottles into interlocking bricks which can be used as a cheap and robust construction material. Our key case study is the city of Juba in South Sudan, which has an estimated daily consumption of PET bottles of 1 million, and virtually all of these bottles end up being sent to landfill. This runs parallel to the issue of inadequate and poor quality housing in the city resulting in soaring house prices and much of the population living in overcrowded conditions. We estimate that currently 200 of our units working in parallel can produce a whole house per day. I am writing to you today for your advice in two areas: We were wondering if you could help us work out the total potential demand that might be found for the product. Statistics for the developing world have been very difficult to find, and while we have found good statistics on Juba, we have little to work on when looking at the rest of Africa. A good place to start would be knowing how many comparable cities to Juba there are in sub-saharan Africa, so that we can have an approximate place to start for planning our hypothetical operations. If you can advise us on this in any capacity, or direct us to someone who can, we would be very grateful. We are unclear on the exact steps that we would need to take in order to turn Bottle-Brick into a sustainable organisation. We envision that Bottle-Brick would operate as a not-for-profit social enterprise, producing the units which are then sold on to charities at the minimum cost to keep the operation sustainable. We estimate that we would need approximately £50,000 to set up the operations, and then would look to sell the units at approximately £50 each, once we reached maturity. Given Practical Action's wealth of experience, we were hoping you would be able to give us some advice on the best ways to go about raising this initial capital (donations, grants etc, we do not really know at this point), and whether you would envisage that this partnership structure might work. Please contact me to receive the Bottle Brick Leaflet which contains more information on the system and how it works.

1 Answer

Md Mahobul Islam

Yes, I am interested to work on this technology in south asia. Turning waste into wealth will be a sustainable solution for safe waste management, housing, as well as livelihood option for the poor.