Building With Plastic Bottles

What could you do with more than a million plastic bottles? Arthur Huang built a nine-story building with them! He called it the EcoArk. It’s a very special building in Taiwan, Asia.

The EcoArk is sleek and modern. You might think it’s made of glass, with a pattern of white dots along the walls. But look closely. Those dots are bottle caps. They come from the plastic bottles that make up the walls.

The walls are not made of ordinary plastic bottles, though. They are called Polli-Bricks. They’re made of recycled plastic. The plastic was chopped up and melted down. It was then reshaped and made stronger.

The Polli-Bricks have grooves. They fit together and lock in place. They are built into panels. A coating protects them against fire and weather. The panels weigh much less than glass. Yet, they are strong because of the pattern of the interlocking bottles.

The grooved Polli-Bricks lock together to make panels.

These safety features are important. Why? Taiwan experiences some of nature’s extreme forces. It is rocked every year by earthquakes. Typhoons batter Taiwan each summer, too. Yet, the EcoArk is not damaged.

The Polli-Brick panels are lightweight but strong. Huang proves this by jumping up and down on them.


Huang designed the EcoArk to be eco-friendly. In other words, it can’t harm the environment. The Polli-Brick walls use plastic trash that would end up in landfills or in the ocean. Also, the Polli-Bricks are filled with air. Heat doesn’t pass through air easily. So the bottles help keep heat from entering the building. It stays cool during long, hot summers.

Huang's Polli-Bricks are made out of plastic bottles.

Most buildings use electricity for air conditioning. This comes from burning oil, coal, or natural gas. This, in turn, adds carbon dioxide to the air.

Adding too much carbon dioxide makes air temperatures warmer. This is the greenhouse effect. Huang didn’t want to add to that problem.