Startup builds Affordable Homes out of Recycled Plastic
A new social start-up aims to transform housing in Malaysia and beyond, beginning in 2019, simultaneously solving a massively growing housing problem, while ridding the environment of countless tons of menacing discarded plastic.
OUR GLOBAL PLASTIC CHALLENGE
It is like a landmark in India’s East Delhi’s Ghazipur area; the 50 feet tall mountain of waste. This is one of India’s largest landfills and draws a symbolic picture of one of the biggest problems of the Indian Subcontinent. India is almost drowning in the garbage it generates. From solid urban waste to sewage to chemical or industrial waste – all types of waste are mismanaged and have become a mammoth problem in the face of rapid urbanization.
Major metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Kolkata generate about 10 million tons of garbage every day. But the problem is not the enormous amount of waste generation, but how we treat it.
Indian woman standing in one of many overflowing landfills
Gaias Homes, based in Kuala Lumpur, uses a proprietary technology to construct modular Eco homes and shelters ranging from 25 to 200 square meters, comprised of materials made from recycled plastic. The Eco homes are not only affordable but can be constructed by non-skilled workers in two to five days. Homes start at $3,250, are earthquake proof, and are estimated to last up to 500 years due to the nature of the plastic based material. From now on it will be possible for NGO’s, Charities, Governments or Families to buy a cheap, reliable, fast assemble-be solution for all needs. Shelters – Community Centers – Hospitals – Schools – Homes – there are no limits for this technology.
The Company has at the moment a small amount of different Eco house package offers on its Website, the amount of packages will grow over the next years, making it easy for all sorts of customers to order exactly what they need. But Gaias Homes has already a variety of customization options including size, number of floors, type of roof and solar panels, just to mention a few. Ordering is simple and straightforward and is even available online through the Companies website. The houses flat roofs are said to be strong enough to grow gardens on top. working against climate change and making it theoretically possible to turn crime infected slums into lushing gardens in a fast pace – knowing that a higher amount of green lowers the crime rates and raises happiness enormously.
Turning plastic waste in high quality homes, this technology solves some of the major crises on our planet
The recycled materials required to build a single 100 square meter home will extract and re-purpose two tons of plastic from the environment. How important this becomes can we see on this example: Every day, India alone produces enough garbage to fill three million garbage trucks. End-to-end. That many trucks would reach halfway to the moon. Over 5 trillion pieces of plastic contaminate the world’s oceans, and of that, some 270,000 tons float to the surface while four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the ocean’s deep.
To say that plastic contamination is a massive global problem would be a gross understatement. In Asia, 70-percent of all collected urban waste ends up in landfills, which are already way over their capacity. Gaias Homes will certainly not be without construction materials for a long time to come.
Major oceanic plastic pollution contributors- source: The Economist
The Company has visions of aggressively helping solve poverty and housing crises.
“If we used all the plastic waste produced and turn it into infrastructure, in only five years we would be able to house all people living below the poverty line, and could continue keeping up with all future demand after that – but this is only on paper possible – but even with only a part of that amount we could erase some of the major slums in the upcoming years completely” said Steven Bo Rausch, Founder of Gaias Homes.
Almost a third of India’s city population lives in Slums
“This is where our real passion lies,” Steven Rausch said, “we see an enormous opportunity to not only make a huge impact in people’s lives but to help on broader scales beyond the construction materials we will use in our Eco homes. Yes, we will run a profitable business, but this is about so much more than that. This is about making a contribution to society.”
The Company already has Ambassadors covering Singapore, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, Philippines, Canada and more, and plans to rapidly expand the concept throughout Asia.
“We understand the enormity and necessity of this project, and our team feels we are up to the task and we are driven every day by knowing the impact we can make, not only in India but around the world,” Rausch added.
Gaias Homes is completing its first round of funding and plans to scale operations to at least 1500 homes in its first year, re-purposing some 9000 tons of garbage plastic. The Company expects to triple those numbers in the second year.
We polluted our environment in the last 60 years so drastically with plastic waste, that it will take us at least double the time to clean the environment up to a “near” pre – plastic stage. The Ocean cleanup program will start in Mid-2018 but we also have to ensure, that the plastic waste doesn’t even make it until the oceans. This Project could be this solution. Solving the waste management AND the housing crises at once, it is a multi purpose problem solving tool.
About Gaias Homes
Gaias Homes is a privately held for-profit company with a strong social, environmental and humanitarian background, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Founded by Steven Bo Rausch, Gaias Homes is committed to spreading the social and environmental message that something can be done about the horrific plastic problem existing in landfills and oceans around the world. Through its proprietary manufacturing process, the Company constructs affordable and durable homes while removing a substantial amount of plastic waste from the environment.