Now he's the owner of an artificial paradise island in the middle of Abidjan's lagoon, floating atop 700,000 recycled plastic bottles, tightly packed into boxes, Presstv Reported.
"The floating island started to take shape in 2012 when I had a catamaran construction project. I was studying this and people from the marina were all on the lagoon's edge and so that is how I discovered the lagoon, its advantages and its disadvantages such as the pollution and so, little by little, my idea of building a travel boat turned into how to build a system, a village corner by using the pollution in the lagoon, namely the drums," said Becker.
It's a place to relax, enjoy a drink, swim in one of two pools, and even spend the night. It's touted as the perfect getaway on its Facebook page.
It took six years for Becker to collect discarded bottles, polystyrene, even sandals and then test their strength and viability.
"We pick up bottles and floating waste to build a little on the floating island, but if we wanted to get into waste treatment we would need to sort the waste. For example, there are plastic bags that we don't use and could be used for something, there is bio-degradable waste that could be used to make fire or compost for example, branches. So normally you would need to do more serious work than what we are doing but all we can do is pick up a part of the waste which we can recycle," Becker said.
The island weighs around 200 tons, and is equipped with solar panels for electricity. Becker also makes compost to grow some grass on the island. Water has to be pumped in from the land because the lagoon water is too polluted.
"It is a beautiful project and I think in future there will be several floating islands like this one since the lagoon planning department is very positive about these types of projects. So we could have floating islands all over Ivory Coast and that would be great for us," promoter Beranger Otokore said.
For the moment Becker says he has around 100 guests a week and most of his trade is at weekends. And they seem to love the experience.
"It's really innovative, ecologically it was something that was really worth thinking about and it is 'the place to be' sometimes even because it proves that nothing is wasted, nothing gained, everything can be preserved. So they did something really innovative and I had to come and see for myself up close," said a visitor on the floating island, Ines Nouye, who heard about it on Instagram.
Becker is keen to promote his system to encourage others to recycle more. He doesn't think the project will change the world but it is part of a strategy to raise awareness of recycling and cleaning the environment.
"If we want to resolve this problem, we are just a drop in the ocean, to resolve the problem we would have to treat one hundred percent of the waste instead of around 50 percent for the moment and work in different sectors," Becker said.
The hotel on the island opened in 2018 and Becker says he will continue to look for new ways to improve this drop of paradise and make it 100 percent green.