As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Rishi Sowa, of Isla Mujeres, found his treasure to be in the form of used plastic bottles. He took 250,000 used plastic bottles and turned them into something pretty incredible…an island. Yes, that’s right, this man created an entire island paradise out of plastic bottles.
Sowa’s island, called Spiral Island, was in Puerto Aventuras (south of Playa del Carmen) until hurricane Emily destroyed it, in the Summer of 2005. He has since rebuilt the island (this one is called Spiral Island II) just off of Isla Mujeres and currently has approximately 100,000 plastic bottles keeping the island afloat.
Spiral Island II is Rishi Sowa’s home and, on the island, you will find his house, several beaches, a yard, a pond, and lush, tropical plants. The house has everything you’d expect to find in a home, only Sowa’s sinks and shower use solar-heated, recycled, rain water and he puts leaves in his toilet, to make compost that is used in his garden. The island is anchored in the center, but it can spin around. And, if the wind is strong, it does exactly that.
The completely sustainable island is an ongoing project, with mesh fruit bags filled with used plastic bottles, constantly being added to the island, to increase it’s bouyancy and size. Living on a private island in the Caribbean is a dream many of us have, but Mr. Sowa achieved that dream in a creative, innovative, and incredibly eco-friendly way.
Spiral Island II was featured on MTV’s Cribs, in 2011. You can see the show, by clicking the link below and tuning in to episode 13.