Friday, October 01, 2010 | |

A cutting-edge engineering project has turned 1.5 million used plastic bottles into the world’s first large-scale recycled-plastic building.

From a distance, the building looks like a smart new addition to Taipei’s skyline—an angular, approximately nine-story-tall silver and white structure on Zhongshan North Road, not far from Taipei’s landmark Grand Hotel. Close up, it is a surprise for first-time visitors, as it is constructed with plastic bottles—1.5 million of them to be exact.

Since the building, known as the EcoArk, has taken shape, it has received much attention not only from local media, but international media including the BBC, Reuters, Agence France-Presse, and Bloomberg news services. National Geographic also has been filming it for the last half year for the TV channel’s MegaStructures program to air in early January.

The Taiwanese company that built it, Miniwiz Sustainable Energy Development Co. Ltd., a relatively young company started by a Taiwanese overseas returnee in his 30s, has also garnered a lot of attention. That is because the EcoArk is the world’s first fully functional, large-scale plastic building made from recycled plastic bottles. Taiwan is one of the biggest consumers of plastic bottles in the world, with the island’s 23 million residents using up to 4.6 billion polyethylene terephthalate or PET bottles each year. It took the company only a couple of weeks to gather enough used bottles to make the building, which it did by collecting them from department stores belonging to the Far Eastern Group, the project sponsor and one of Taiwan’s biggest conglomerates.

Read the full article here!