PET, an alternative for the environment and emergencies

The construction industry is one of the most important sectors, at least in Mexico, acting as an indicator of the country’s economic conditions. In addition, there is the large number of specialties involved, as well as the number of jobs it creates.

At the same time, this industry demands constant innovation to adapt to changes in today’s world and meet new needs that arise. An example of this is natural disasters, crucial moments in which a good deal of creativity is required.

Many people lost their homes as a result of the earthquakes in September 2017, and the lack of resources meant they had to improvise abodes to live in. However, at that time an initiative emerged to build homes using plastic, specifically PET bottles.

This type of sustainable housing has already been successfully built in other countries. The use of PET in the construction of homes provides us with an opportunity to rethink this industry. Even though today this is done out of necessity, it would be a good idea to consider using the material on a permanent basis, as this would give rise to a win-win situation. This move would greatly increase awareness of recycling and, at the same time, reduce the costs of building materials.

In addition, according to the study “Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made”, published in the journal Science Advances in 2017, in recent years a total of 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced, equivalent to 10,000 times the weight of the Eiffel Tower in Paris or 35,000 times the weight of the Empire State Building in New York.

According to data from 2018, Mexico is the second biggest consumer of PET soft drink containers in the world, and although this type of construction is temporary for now, it is safe and does not require deep foundations. In addition, the material provides good chemical and thermal resistance, which makes it ideal for use in homes.

Nor should it be forgotten that plastic is already an important building material. PVC is used for piping, insulation, windows and electrical installations, but now provides an additional option for building walls, which means further benefits.

Today we live in a world with greater awareness of environmental issues, and this situation has allowed us to be more creative. Given the needs that are currently emerging, it would be advisable to look upon plastic as an ally.