Massive Plastic Bottle Building Unveiled in Taiwan

The exterior of a building in Taiwan made out of plastic bottles.

Forgemind ArchiMedia /Flickr / CC BY 2.0

1.5 Million Bottles Used to Build It!
A building some are calling "the world's first plastic bottle built structure" has been unveiled in Taiwan. This amazing building, dubbed the EcoARK, was constructed using a whopping 1.5 million PET bottles to raise awareness about the importance of recycling. Standing three-stories tall, the EcoARK features an amphitheater, an exhibition hall, and a screen of falling water collected during rainy periods for use as air conditioning. The designers tout the building as being "the world's lightest, movable, breathable environmental miracle," yet insist it's strong enough to handle typhoons and earthquakes--but it's sure have recycling enthusiasts blown away.

According to The China Post, the EcoARK was commissioned three years ago by the Taiwan-based Far Eastern Group at a price tag of around US$3 million, based on the three goals of "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle." The company will donate the green structure to the city next month, where it will be use as exhibition hall during the 2010 Taipei Int'l Flora Expo in November.

When asked what inspired the monument to recycling, developer Arthur Huang says it was found, well, in the trash:

When we are thinking about what type of trash to make a very, very green low carbon building, we just look at our trash can, and we noticed that in our office, most of our trash that we have are actually PET bottles, because all our engineers love drinking bottled tea.

The EcoARK, and the call for better waste management that it represents, couldn't have come at a better time in Taiwan. It is estimated that only a mere 4 percent of the nation's plastic bottles are recycled or reused--and with 2.4 billion bottles used annually, that adds up to a lot of waste to clutter landfills, or worse, make it out to sea.

A report from New Tang Dynasty Televison offers a peek inside.

The interior of a building made from plastic water bottles.

 Forgemind ArchiMedia / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

What makes the EcoARK so impressive, aside from its low carbon footprint and masterful use of recycled bottles as building material, is its purely aesthetic beauty. It just goes to show that there are no limits to what can be created when you look hard enough at a problem...or deep enough in a trash can.