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Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Joyxee Island

One man's fulfilled dream of living on an artificial island made of recycled plastic bottles. 

British artist Richart Sowa lives with his wife and dog in a three-story house with a Jacuzzi—on an island made from over 100,000 plastic bottles.

Joyxee Island sits 30 yards off the coast of Isla Mujeres, a Mexican island in the Caribbean. The base of the manmade island is made up of nets filled with plastic bottles. Sowa’s solar-powered home has a washing machine powered by waves, two swimming ponds, a waterfall, and internet connection. His goal is for the island to be entirely self sufficient; he already grows vegetables and herbs.

Joyxee Island is actually the second bottle island built by Sowa. The first one, called Spiral Island, was built in 1998. After he and his first wife split up, Sowa did some soul searching and decided living on a bottle island floating in a lagoon near Puerto Aventuras was his dream. He stayed there with his two dogs until 2005, when it was destroyed by Hurricane Emily.

Sowa spent the next several years collecting new bottles and began building Joyxee Island in late 2007. He finished it by the end of 2008, and opened the 8,000-square-foot island for tours. Visitors can get to and from the island on an eight-person barge Sowa built with recycled bottles.