Do you want to draw

our jungle house?

Are you an architect? Do you want to use your design skills to create a sustainable plastic recycling facility in a poor community in the jungle of Laos?

Aay's Village is a non-profit organization based in a small jungle village in Laos. We have been working to provide local people with opportunities for a better future since 2016, both through education and environmental projects. 


Laos is one of Asia's poorest, and there are no opportunities for recycling plastic in the country. Plastic is now becoming one of the world's biggest environmental problems, and it is destroying nature and causing major damage to wildlife and the local community. Every year, over 73,000 tonnes of plastic are released into the Mekong River that runs past Aay's Village. The plastic is thrown right into the river by the locals - because there is no plastic recycling system in the country, and no education on the dangers of plastic.


That's why we developed a recycling system based on the Norwegian recycling scheme, and a global system called Ecobricks. This new system we call Clean the Jungle. It works simply by filling a used plastic bottle full of smaller pieces of plastic. This bottle is now an Ecobrick - a plastic building brick - which benefits as a material in structures such as fences, benches and house walls. The locals deliver such Ecobricks to us at our pilot recycling facility,  and get a refund paid directly to them. 

The Challenge

Draw a sustainable plastic recycling house on our new piece of land by using your imagination, the Lao nature as inspiration and include thousands of Ecobricks in your design.

Are you an architect? Join the challenge, join our cause!

In our pilot project we collected 59,000 plastic bottles full of used plastic. The project worked beyond all expectations, and now we want to go bigger. Someone has to take proper action where the plastic problem is the biggest! We are now in the process of planning how to become a permanent solution in the village, comparable to a vending machine in your local store.


The locals collected tonnes of plastic during our pilot project, and we are now left with thousands of Ecobricks ready - not only to be safely sheltered from environmental debris, but to gain new value as building materials. 


This is where we invite you to take part in our challenge: design a jungle home! We need your help to design a sustainable building made by Ecobricks, which will be our new project home, where we can further develop 'Clean the Jungle' and continue to offer village children English lessons. If your design wins, you will have the opportunity to see your amazing drawings come to life in a village where there is a great need.


We want to reach out to architects who would like to be challenged in a whole new way!


The criteria we have for building are:

The house must fit seamlessly into the jungle

The house must be built by Ecobricks, among others

The structure of the house must be solid and safe

Are you ready to join our plastic recycling project in Laos? 

We have bought a beautiful piece of land in the village.

Now we need your creative architectual skills to create our house. 


Apply by sending us an email at replying a short line or two to these questions: 

1. Who are you? Name, age, background

2. Why do you want to draw our jungle house?

3. How do you plan on including Ecobricks (plastic bottles) in the design?

Application deadline is 31st of March 2020.

Plastics are an important material in our economy, and modern daily life is unthinkable without them.

Over the past 50 years, the role and importance of plastics in our economy has consistently grown. Plastics are inexpensive and durable, and as a result levels of plastic production by humans are very high.

Global production of plastics has increased twentyfold since the 1960s, reaching 322 million tonnes in 2015. It is expected to double again over the next 20 years.



Many people in Laos come from a hunter-gatherer background, and are used to farming organically and a clean, straight-from-the-nature diet. However, since Laos opened its borders to foreign influence, plastic has appeared even in the deepest parts of the jungle.

Our village is overflowing with plastic waste. Coke bottles, crisp bags and plastic bags can be found on every man-made path, even on top of mountains, by river sides and on the lake. People of Laos has never been given a way to recycle this type of waste, nor have they been informed of the downside of plastic in nature.

In Laos, one “solution” up until now has been to burn plastic in the jungle, which we now know are extremely dangerous. Curbing plastic waste and pollution is a complex problem, given its diffuse nature and the link with social trends and individual behaviour. There is no clear incentive for consumers and producers to switch to solutions that would generate less waste or litter. 

Growing plastic waste generation and its leakage into our environment must be tackled if we are to achieve a truly circular lifecycle for plastics.

But, we must also clean up the mess we have created already.


When plastics are littered, burned or dumped, they poison the earth, air and water. Stepping up the recycling of plastics can bring significant environmental and economic benefits. When we save, segregate and pack plastics into bottles, we can make building blocks that can be reused over and over again. Together we can build green spaces that enrich our community and the biosphere.  Together we can return to harmony with the cycles of life.


We educate about the dangers of plastic waste, and inform them how to store their plastic in Ecobricks, which are plastic bottles filled with plastic waste.


We collect Ecobricks at our Collection Point, which is the only plastic waste facility in the entire country that we know of.


Everyone who deposit their Ecobricks at our collection point will get money in return with the help from Empower and their Plastic Fund.


The Ecobricks we collect, can be used as building bricks. In the future, we aim to shred, melt and repurpose plastic in other ways. 



Our sustainability mission is to communicate the importance of preserving the Lao nature, and initiate sustainable projects which can reduce harmful ecological processes and clean up the jungle.

That is why we in 2018 initiated Clean the Jungle, a project where we give plastic a value by collecting plastic bottles filled with plastic waste, called Ecobricks. The project is based on the Norwegian bottle deposit scheme; people can deliver their Ecobricks to us, we give them money from Empowers’ plastic fund, and then we repurpose the plastic. 


An Ecobrick is a plastic bottle packed solid with non-biological waste to make a re-useable building block.  Best of all, you don’t need any fancy machines, special skills, engineers or even politicians to get started.

Around the world people are making and building all sorts of practical stuff ith ecobricks.  From indoor furniture, to gardens and parks, to structures– your imagination is the only limit!

We ecobrick.  Why? Well, because after lots of research we’ve found Ecobricks to be the deepest solution for our own plastic.  From raising ecological consciousness to sequestering C02 to transitioning from sustainable to regenerative, there’s a whole bunch of good reasons for Ecobricks.


We have teamed up with Empower in Norway to give plastic a value, one bottle at the time. Empower is building a global plastic waste ecosystem based on the same philosophy as the Norwegian bottle deposit system.

We initiated a pilot project in November 2018, where we collected 51 029 plastic bottles filled with 10 tons of plastic waste in a community in the deep jungle of Laos. We paid the locals for each bottle they recycled at our facilities, giving plastic waste a value and fighting poverty whilst cleaning the jungle.

The pilot was hugely successful , and we are now ready to take our mission to clean the jungle one step further.