Vananh Lee – Co-head of the ReuseEverything Institute shows off
their invention: plastic thatch

Thatched roofs are picturesque, but when people move out of poverty, they upgrade to more durable tin roofs. David Saiia and Vananh Le are pioneering a cool alternative: plastic thatch made from sliced, flattened soda bottles fused into longer strips, built up like traditional thatch but: 1) light filtering, 2) longlasting, 3) quieter and 4) affording better ventilation. Plus they are made from local waste, cleaning up the environment and creating jobs. Wins all around.

They are piloting this promising innovation with the Carnegie Mellon Engineers without Borders.