Man creates floating bottle paradise

Man creates floating bottle paradise

A British man living near the Mexican resort city of Cancun is enjoying life on his own private island. Unlike most people who buy their own island, he's neither wealthy, nor did he buy it. 

He's built it himself and has it floating on thousands of discarded plastic bottles.

A poet once said, "no man is an island", but one man in Mexico wanted an island and wasn’t going to let his non-millionaire status stop him.

British artist Richard Sowa's vision is now a reality and while it’s not exactly the "Garden of Eden" -- Mr Sowa says he’s trying to create a paradise from rubbish.

"That's all floating on mostly recycled materials. So it's a way of turning the trash of the world into a paradise."

He started building his artificial island in 2007 near the Mexican resort city of Cancun, filling nets and fruit bags with discarded plastic bottles.

"I can put that bag in there and I get this long poll, which I have designed. It’s my Neptune Fork and I can push them under and give it extra lift."

He put down a foundation and some dirt, grew plants and built a little house on the island, with running water and a bathroom.

"Not a drop of fuel in this home, it's all powered by a couple solar panels. What he wants next is to have the local authorities recognise his island, make it legal. Trouble is, they’re not entirely sure how to do that."

He's asked the authorities to give him the necessary property inspections and they’re analysing the situation to see what type of certificate or document they can give him to make it all legal.

Just $4 gets you a personalised tour of the island but Richard's not interested striking it rich. He’s got a simple plan.

"so the world can see how we can live in a very beautiful natural way, with all the comforts, even more comfort than even the richest person of the world."

And he's got plans to make the island even larger. Obviously, given the state of our oceans there's no shortage of raw material to help him do that.

Still, when he looks at his home, Richard doesn't see a floating pile of rubbish.