From the Series
Even though plastic bottles are fully recyclable, they mostly end up in landfills. To solve this problem, Donald Thomson launched 'A'Gua Costa Rica, a new 100 per cent zero-waste beverage container that becomes a permanent, high-quality solution to the housing needs of low-income families.
Thomson's company, Center for Regenerative Design and Collaboration, makes the rectangular 'A'Gua bottles that, when empty, flatten into concrete-and-waste-paper-filled tiles. The resulting tile has a much greater value than the empty bottle
The tiles are filled with a lightweight mix of aerated concrete and waste paper, which can be tinted to simulate marble, slate, or ceramic tile.
Turning the bottles into tiles requires a crimping machine. "We then got involved with engineering students at Seattle University, who developed a manual press that can be used to fold the bottles every time — bang, bang, bang — with no additional energy needed," Thomson told Co.Design.
Thomson wants to build 40 housing units next year covered in the 'A'Gua tiles. Each house will need 10 000 tiles.