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Scrap Heap Challenge – British Inventor Builds Floating Home Using Plastic Bottles

A creative British man has constructed his very own island home in the Caribbean – using 120,000 plastic bottles.

By using rubbish which was destined for a lifetime buried in landfill, Richard ‘Rishi’ Sowar has created Spiral island II in a lagoon off Mexico’s Caribbean coast.

The environmentalist’s island has a house, two ponds, beaches and even a solar-powered waterfall after filling fabric bags with the discarded bottles and then attaching them to pallets.

Situated near the tourist resort of Cancun in Isla Mujeres, Mr Sowar has created his very own private piece of paradise using 120,000 plastic bottles.

He said: ‘I’m not a scientist but I just believe in the power of nature.

‘I get my bottles to do this from the local rubbish tip.

‘We have a big problem with rubbish. If we start to make more bottle islands we don’t have to look for places to put it (the bottles). It turns to treasure – it creates land.’

This is Rishi’s second attempt at owning his very own piece of paradise, after his first attempt, a larger island built in 1998 using 250,000 bottles.

The original Spiral Island was situated off Puerto Aventura, Mexico, until one day when Mexico had an unexpected visitor from Hurricane Emily. The storm completely pushed Spiral Island on top of the beach shoreline. Although the island was mostly destroyed, Rishi didn’t give up hope.

Rishi uses all the attention he gets to his advantage and receives visitors from around the world to help him with his ambitious project.

Rishi said that although the bottles are man-made, they fit in well with their surroundings with coral taking root on the undersides of his island as he continues to expand.

Spiral Island II

The original Spiral Island