For the majority of people, the sight of a of heap of plastic bottles floating in water is an eye-saw. However, for entrepreneur Eric Becker, the scene ignited an idea for a business opportunity. The litter of plastic waste generated an idea to build an island resort which has a swimming pool, bars, and relaxation areas.
An innovative Entrepreneur
Becker is an entrepreneur who has used innovative ways to manage plastic waste problem. His plastic waste island is in the middle of Abidjan’s lagoon, in the Ivory Coast. The resort floats on 700,000 plastic bottles packed into boxes. The Island further houses a hotel and also operates with solar panels, and draws drinking water from the lands nearby. A true example of utilizing natural sources in business.
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Becker was originally nurturing the vision to launch into a boat cruising business in the Ivory Coast. It however took him six years to build the island resort from plastic bottles, he told Reuters.
“Little by little, my idea of building a travel boat turned into how to build a system,” Becker says.
The resort boasts about 100 guests each week, and weekends are usually the busiest.
Becker’s construction highlights the importance of finding innovative ways to tackle the volume of plastic waste in the environment. The problem of waste disposal especially for single-use plastics are widespread. The belief is that globally a truckload of waste is dumped into the ocean every minute. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation shows that even regions with the highest recycling rates only manage to recycle around half their packaging.
“It is a beautiful project and I think in future there will be several floating islands like this one,” says Becker. “We could have floating islands all over Ivory Coast and that would be great for us.”