Builders Without Borders is proposing using baled rice straw for housing in Haiti.
Compare that to our plastic building blocks.
A more useful and sustainable way to use the plastic including plastic bags bottles and caps, and styrofoam, is to shred it and build a block with it. This process creates a very strong and sustainable building material. In third world countries where water is sent in plastic bottles, instead of creating a trash problem, a new building material is produced.
Green Earth Bloc Builder
Architectural Hotwire Foam & Stoneworks
I have more than one problem with that concept Beverly.
The Ubuntu-blox (we finally got a name for the recycled plastic block that we feel describes it perfectly) can be made in the harshest of circumstances because the compression machine is manual.
No extra effort or machinery is required to process the plastic prior to compression.
No expensive additives are required to construct a structurally sound shelter that can last indefinately, stuff like cement or polymers or other toxic chemicals.
People can make THEIR house, the one they want, not the one someone else decides would be good enough for them.
Women can build their own house with the blocks because manual dexterity and cleverness are more important than strength and tradition using the Ubuntu-blox.
Except for the original cost of the machine, can be made locally off of the plans available to anyone over the internet, the only cost is the wire. All the rest of the funds normally used to procure outside materials and products can then be used to pay for labor. As we know, what Haiti needs now more than anything else is jobs, After all, wages are what makes an economy, not imported products.