Re-Cycled House | Closing the cycle of plastic

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Re-Cycled House | Closing the cycle of plastic: Decent housing solutions from recycled plastics

Bogota, ColombiaGuapi, Colombia
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

To generate high impact, reducing extreme poverty, mitigating the informal settlements and promote sustainable conditions, it is born a synergy that analyzes new models and technologies to "industrialize housing", noting in the plastic recycling a potential solution for a new model of decent housing

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if we use plastic waste for the manufacture of a construction system with dignity?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

We seek to mitigate two major problems, the housing deficit and the generation of plastic waste, generating a positive impact in several of the SDG (1.No poverty 8.Decent work and economic growth 9.Industry, innovation and infrastructure 10.Reduced inequalities 11.Sustainable cities and communities 12.Responsible production 13. Climate Action 17.Partnership for the goals), as we alleviate environmental, social and economic problems

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Plastic is a material whose biodegradation may take more than 500 years and its final disposition is often inadequate (even more when they are multilayer plastic or mixtures of different plastics that make its reuse complicated). From an industrial process of extrusion, we can use this type of plastic and these conditions and transform this waste into quality construction elements. Our system is composed of beams, blocks, jamb and sill which together make up the housing. In Latin America, Africa and Asia the housing deficit has average percentages of 40% in many cases, and those manufactured elements work well for self homes, emergency housing solutions, shelter, classrooms, and any kind of project that can dignify informal settlements.


Locomotive innovation Colciencias 2Recycler award research National Prize also First for the selection of housing prototypes in alternative systems by the Ministry of Environment, Housing and Territorial Development of Colombia 3.Best Practice Dubai UN
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

South of the Colombian Pacific, there were armed conflicts that forced the settlers to leave their homes and move to the urban center of the municipality, without their belongings, without a roof and with only what they could carry in their hands is necessary to shelter hundreds of families looking for a temporary or permanent shelter. We design pieces need to know that for the construction of the shelter, acquire and transform the raw material (recycled plastic approx 120TM) and ship construction elements for them to residents of the region can realize the construction. Two weeks later, 1200m2 of rooms and sanitary facilities are ready to host this population, more than 400 people may have a roof and several of them are trained to build

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

To date we have projects built by approx 1400m2, a contract for homes delivered by corporate social responsibility for approx 700m2, the impact we really seek is to alleviate the rural housing deficit in Colombia (to start) 1,200,000 housing units in which they intend provide us with the number permitted giving the multilayer plastic reuse and other types of plastic post-consumer and post-industrial and dignifying involving the recycling, we want to be a catalyst for achieving a circular economy around plastic hand with housing solutions for ending extreme poverty that affects us. So far these projects have given reuse 300 tons of plastic, we have an installed capacity of 100 tons per month capacity, but seek to expand this capability to deliver 300 tons to 50 homes per month in the first stage, as well as to scale and replicate our solution with technology transfer and assembly plants

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

We are increasingly involved with manufacturers and processors of plastic, like some government agencies that until now are paying attention to the negative environmental impact of plastic handled improperly. We seek support within the plastic closure cycle, a helping hand in the participation of a whole methodology of circular economy where finally we are as manufacturers, people living recycling as providers, and people with low income and the homeless close late this lifecycle plastic beneficiaries. our growth depends on the participation that allows us the sector and the normalization

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Project began about one year ago, the research takes about 12 years, we are in the process of introduction in the market and raising awareness of the product, its environmental, social and economic benefits. We are reaching the point of equilibrium and involving more products to the portfolio, understanding as brand destruction, disposal of waste and disposal certificates, all this in order to help in the extended producer responsibility

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The problems are being addressed separately, on the one hand the plastic waste (having serious problems with multilayer) that are managed by independent organizations and associations of recyclers for profit, and on the other hand the housing problem the government is It is giving solution. No more solutions or proposals that mix both problems for a joint solution as we have, there are some initiatives to make profiles with other applications and even used in housing prototypes but nothing intended as constructive quality system

Founding Story

The company was founded with the aim of reusing plastic materials in the manufacturing business of pipe, having an impact of 1,000 tonnes aproximadamnte reused this experience with plastic showed us the way to new materials from recycled and methods of manufacture of products from this. Many are tons of wasted plastics and many more homeless families, so What if we use plastic waste for the manufacture of a construction system with dignity? final product: housing We partner with Fernando who came to research and develop the product to several years and now we have a processor and producer of Bloqueplas constructive system that we want to reach many families in various countries


Oscar Mendez: Architect and entrepreneur with 10 years experience in manufacturing and plastic processing, Founder of CONCEPTOS PLASTICOS for implementing reuse projects recycled plastic materials into innovative products and disruptive, Certified Associate, Master and Manager for Global Innovation Innovation GIMI Management Institute, Training Innovation, interest and certificate courses in Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development. Fernando Llanos: Entrepreneur with experience in research and development of products made from recycled for implementation in construction materials, in 2004 designed and patented the Bloqueplas construction system, for which he has been recognized by Recycler "Best Researcher" and recognition as Best Building System Energy Saving and by the Ministry of Environment, Housing and Territorial Development. He has had mentions in Dubai Best Practices Award of the UN and the Green Awards Latin America. Jesus Mendez: Business administrator majoring in Marketing, Co-founder of CONCEPTOS PLASTICOS, experience in management and implementation of productive projects and production processes in-house of solidarity sector.
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

Ashoka Changemakers Web

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:


Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

No Poverty, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

For several years we have worked in the research and development of materials and poductos, mixed plastics, behaviors of products, all from recycled plastics, mold manufacturing and improving the manufacturing process.

Our factory has reprocessed approximately 1500 tons of plastic in four years of work, a material that has a proper reuse and have been diverted from landfills.

We have been awarded training in innovation by government entities and invited to participate in fairs and exhibitions as pioneers in green businesses with high impact.

We are catalysts of high impact and are confident that we will continue contributing to excellent projects for people in need.

We participated in 2011 in another contest of Ashoka where this project was just an idea and today is a reality.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

We are currently making alliances with organizations seeking to scale the business, who believe in our product and most of all in the project.


Recycling is getting an old method, which delivers positive result towards the environment. Mostly people are taking some positive lessons from recycling process and utilize the waste unused materials. There are several kinds of recycling process and mostly people are using a different product for recycling such as; plastic recycling, paper recycling, electronic recycling, waste recycling, and many others. People are using several kinds of process to promote recycling concept and utilize it for environmental safety; I really appreciate the whole recycling concept here; thanks for such a wonderful article.

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