From a distance, a new home in rural Nova Scotia looks like it might be made of wood. But the structure—hidden under recycled aluminum siding laser-printed with a cedar print—was built from 600,000 recycled plastic bottles, shredded and melted and made into six-inch-thick walls. “This is a way to get rid of plastic waste and at the same time develop structures that are sustainable,” says David Saulnier, cofounder of JD Composites, the startup that built the prototype house. The recycled-plastic panels provide more insulation than typical walls, so homeowners can save energy in heating and cooling. Using this type of panel to build a house isn’t new, but the company chose to use a fully recycled material to try to tackle the problem of plastic pollution . Each minute, by one estimate, consumers buy at least one million single-use plastic bottles; the majority end up in landfills or in waterways, not at recycling plants. The startup partnered with Armacell, a Belgian company that uses bottles rejected by the recycling industry to build a foam core from 100% recycled plastic. JD Composites trims that material and laminates it to create each panel. Though the walls are lightweight, they’re engineered to […]

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