Meet The Man Who Built An Island From Plastic Bottles

May 31, 2018 By Nick

Meet The Man Who Built An Island From Plastic Bottles

I love to read about other people that have grasped the nettle and lived their own particular dream. Some of them are entrepreneurs, some of them are just oddballs. I want to share these stories with you along the way and show you how some other people have chosen to live. Maybe there’s some inspiration here.


Richart Sowa’s home-made island off coast of Isla Mujeres (the Island of Women, really…), Cancun is just one of those incredible stories. This is a man from a working class town in the North of the UK, who has just gone and lived his dream.

He might be a bit mad. I get that vibe from the video, but it’s still an inspirational tale for us all. I mean the guy built his own private island. He can’t be that nuts…


Cancun is an awesome holiday destination


I can see the attraction Cancun. It’s one of the world’s most spectacular holiday locations after all. But I was thinking of renting an AirBnB…


It’s on the list of places to go and spend a few months of my life and the women are stunning, when it’s not overrun with American tourists. So I get the logic, but the island is radical thinking, and you won’t believe what it’s made from.


This whole island is built from pallets supported by fruit bags full of hundreds of thousands of plastic bottles. Seriously, this is a massive raft with a house on top. Sowa planted Mangrove plants that weave through the bottles and graft it all together organically, too, and he reckons that the metre-thick layer of bottles will last for hundreds of years underwater. Or they would…


This is round two, there was a first island…


Thing is, this is his second attempt at an island. The first, Spiral Island, fell apart when he tried to take it into the open ocean like some kind of luxury cruise liner and he ran into a hurricane. He’s letting Joyxee Island mature, before he tries the same thing again.


Watching how this thing rolls when a boat goes past I wouldn’t want to take it out on the open sea. But then Sowa is clearly a different kind of bloke and I absolutely love his ingenuity, his spirit and his determination to live his life his own way.


Of course there’s a serious message, using the things we throw away to create more living space and housing for people that need it. It’s kind of an awesome recycling plan and it’s already being copied on the relatively tranquil Lake Titicaha in Peru.


Not everybody could live this way


It’s not for everyone, that’s for sure, but this is a man living life on his own terms and having a great time living on the Mexican coast. He’s totally happy with the life he created and he answers to nobody. I’m not sure he pays any rent, either, so he might be the smart one here.


He can even head in to join the Spring Break crowd and go wild at the beach parties whenever he wants.


If you have got divorced, you broke up with someone or you just want a total reboot, then this is kind of awesome in its own way.


So here’s a salute to Richart Sowa and the people following in his footsteps. And if we can’t afford to retire, we can build our own island instead and retire to one of the best places on Earth.


It gives us all hope!


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