First bottle classroom in Asia rises in Laguna

Posted at 12/21/2010 12:04 PM | Updated as of 12/21/2010 4:55 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Inside the Dalubhasaan ng Lungsod ng San Pablo in Laguna stands a building made up of hundreds of plastic bottles.

The “Plastic Bottle Mo, Kinabukasan Ko” project of the provincial government together with former actor/model and architect Illac Diaz, known for his ecological structures and other sponsors, has unveiled the model classroom on Saturday.

Diaz of My Shelter Foundation said that they have thought of using plastic bottles to save the environment and for economic reasons. Plastic bottles are known to decompose only after 700 years.

“Instead of burying them as garbage under the ground, we thought of making them rise as buildings”, he said.

Eight classrooms and a library will be built in the said school with the support of 3rd District Board Member Angelica Jones who helped in securing a donation for the lot.

 The country lacks 7,000 classrooms and this project aims to encourage more local government units (LGUs) to build similar classrooms without having to worry about the funds.

Sturdier and practical

Celso Alcantara who helped build the plastic classroom admitted that the bottle classroom is stronger compared to the structures he has put up in his 14 years as a mason.

A mixture of cement and sand is placed inside each plastic bottle and in between bottles.

“It takes about 2 months, longer than the normal construction of concrete, but it is more worth it," said Alcantara.

It is even stronger than hollow blocks, said Diaz, as tested by the Mapua Institute of Technology. It's a technique the Spaniards used, proof why our old churches are still existing.

Aside from bottles, rice hulls were also used for the walls.

They also plan to use tetra packs for the roof.