FROM PLASTIC WASTE TO LOW COST HOUSING
An initiative founded by Kuadro, a Mexican based company, creates housing products made completely out of plastic waste in Guadalajara.
Every day, Guadalajara, the 2nd largest city in Mexico, is producing 3000 tons of plastic waste. Over a period of a week, this is equivalent to the weight of two Eiffel towers! However Kuadro is utilizing this plastic as an alternative resource. The company business model is based on collecting plastic waste and transforming it into plastic housing products. Examples of these housing products include fences, blocks, benches and even low-cost housing!
Kuadro has managed to deliver low-cost and sustainable housing that enables Mexican people who cannot usually afford a house to become home owners for less than $5000USD.
According to Luis Ricardo Rivera, CEO of Kuadro, there are large market opportunities for recycled housing products. Though the material is not widely known, it is fast becoming a popular alternative to timber. Both the rise in wood prices and the low cost availability of these plastic housing products are starting to convince companies to purchase Kuadro’s products. Coca-Cola, Grupo Modelo (leader in the Mexican beer market) and Cemex (one of the world's largest cement producers) are now among Kuadro’s clients.
According to Luis Rivera, if this business model was to be replicated, it could return a worthwhile investment in 18 months and with an expected profit margin of 40%. Kuadro’s model has already been replicated in Venezuela, Central America and Spain where a similar project has been very successful. Luis is optimistic about similar initiatives as he considers upcycling plastic waste as a real opportunity while reducing its impact on the environment.