- Robert Bezeau
- Panama (Bocas Del Toro)
The four-storey, 14-m-high (46-ft) Castillo Inspiración constructed in 2017 by Robert Bezeau (Canada), aka “The Plastic King”, in Bocas Del Toro, Panama, is fabricated from around 40,000 plastic bottles. It boasts four guest rooms, a feasting area and a viewing platform on the roof. In 2021, Bezeau opened an extension: a dungeon made from 10,000 plastic bottles featuring six "cells" that can sleep up to 16 guests/prisoners! The castle and dungeon are part of an ecological Plastic Bottle Village, which features many other buildings built from the same discarded materials that Bezeau has collected from the Bocas Del Toro islands.
Bezeau promotes the importance of "upcycling" PET plastic rather than "recycling" – that is, reusing the plastic bottles for another purpose without altering their chemical structure. His village uses plastic bottles as an "eco building material", effectively acting as insulation for his constructions. Whereas recycling can often result in plastic fibre entering the ecosystem, upcycling is considered a more environmentally friendly reuse of waste material. “One man’s trash is another man’s castle," as Bezeau has been quoted. “Dinosaurs were extinguished by a meteor, humanity will be extinguished by plastic.”
The dungeon, which has a total floor area of 1,500 sq ft (139 m2) and stands 12 ft (3.7 m) tall, was devised by Bezeau as a means for guests to "repent" for their plastic waste crimes and to pledge to improve their consumption and upcycling habits after they have "served their time" in a plastic prison.