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Mangalore’s House of Plastic

Mangalore’s House of Plastic

Not a Barbie doll house but a house for humans made of plastic.

An organization called Plastic for Change helped build a dream home, a basic need which most waste pickers cannot afford. A first in Karnataka, the house made of plastic gifted to a lady waste picker is located at Pacchanady, Vamanjoor.

Pacchanady is synonymous with Mangalore city’s landfill site as it houses the tons and tons of trash coming from in and around the city. Even before you reach the site, you are welcomed by a strong stench of rotting, mixed waste. 

The house is made of plastic panels, each weighing about 25Kg.They are mainly composed of Multi Layered Plastic (MLP) and Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE). The panels which make the wall, roof and the structure of the house cost around 4-5 lakhs. The structure, however, is a temporary one, which can be dismantled. The durability is said to be about 30 years. The panels have gone through R&D testing proving they are fire-proof, weather-proof: heat-resistant, cold- resistant and in addition, able to withstand wind speed of 120 km/hr. 

This whole initiative was carried out in collaboration with Bamboo House, India. The plastic “waste” is sourced from scrap shops by Plastic for Change organization which in turn goes to Bamboo House after which they are sent to a manufacturing unit to make panels.

Inlet process- Plastic for Change has a sorting unit at Baikampady where segregation of waste takes place. The primary step involves segregation of plastic bottles based on the requirement of the company-PET Bottles with no chemical and the clear beverage bottles only (green or brown bottles are not considered for recycling unit as they are considered to be chemically “polluted”). The bottles are compressed after caps and labels are removed. This bale pack weighs about 125 to 135 kg, which is then exported to the Netherlands. The processed plastic undergoes further treatment and is shredded into pieces thereby converting it into a raw material and sent to companies for manufacturing bottles.

Plastic for Change, Mangalore unit works in collaboration with the cosmetic brand, Body Shop and raises funds for providing more homes to frontline workers, as well as health facilities and education for their kids.


Lavina happens to be a Marine biologist, wondering what’s inside the blue blanket of waves and currently disheartened by plastic as it doesn’t belong there!!! Researching on microplastic in the sea and more.

Photo Credits: Bindiya