Nonprofit Creates Roofs From Plastic Bottles, Reducing Waste And Creating Jobs At Same Time

petNot all roofs are created equal.

The material hanging over rural Ecuadorians' homes, for example, is typically built from either grasses -- which attract insects, leak horribly and collapse when water-logged -- or corrugated tin -- which, in a country that averages 86 degrees, transforms homes into ovens.

Fortunately, one far-too-common material is coming to the rescue for the people of Ecuador, creating green jobs and reducing waste along the way: plastic bottles.

Carnegie Mellon's Engineers Without Borders has teamed up with eco-nonprofit Reuse Everything Institute to turn material that once was used to hold drinks into housing material for poverty-stricken communities. According to a video promoting the partnership, 110 million tons of plastic is used each year -- 7.86 trillion plastic bottles, give or take -- and the discarded material can be transformed into a product that dramatically improves everyday life for Ecuadorians.

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