Sustainability

How to Build an Ecobrick

The world is being plagued by a poison so powerful that it is suffocating oceans and killing a vast magnitude of species without a blink. Plastic was created to make life easier for the human race but after years of its existance, it might just lead to our destruction,

REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE is a slogan I have been hearing since I was a child yet now at the age of 28 it is not enough to save our planet. With a global rise in consciousness around global warming and the dangers we face, people are coming up with innovative ways to help reduce the amount of plastic leaking into our world. From alternatives to single use plastics such as bamboo straws, reusable fresh produce bags and wax wraps to countries such as the Netherlands creating bicycle paths out of plastic, it is not too late to stop the destruction that we are causing.

Susanna Heisse was the pioneer in the creation of the ecobrick after seeing the destruction plastic was causing around Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. She went and created a wall with the ecobricks she created and this helped inspire the world to join on her venture.


What is an ecobrick?

An ecobrick is essentially a bottle stuffed so full with plastic that if you were to stand on it, it wouldnt cave in and would hold its shape. Ecobricks have been used to build houses, furniture, walls and event full scale building. Ecobricks ensure that plastic waste is confinded to a bottle and used for good. Below I will go through the steps on how to create the perfect ecobrick.

Things you should not put in your ecobrick:

  • Glass
  • Metal
  • Paper
  • Biodegradables

 

What you will need to create your ecobrick:

  • A plastic bottle
  • Plastic
  • A stick

 

STEPS TO CREATE THE PERFECT ECOBRICK

Step 1: Prepare your Plastic

Plastics you can use:

  • Styrofoam/ polystyrene
  • Packaging
  • Bags
  • Straws
  • Cellophane

Ensure that your plastic is clean and dry. Any biological matter and moisture can cause microbial growth  as well as methane to be produced within your bottle.

Step 2: Choose the bottle

The size of the bottle will depends on what is going to be created with the ecobricks. Pick n Pays around the country accept 2 litre eco brick bottles which are used to make homes for those in need.


Step 3: Have your stick handy

The diameter of your stick should roughly be one third the diameter of bottle neck.  The length of your stick is dependent on the size of your bottle. The stick I use is 50cm in length so that I can use it on any size bottle.

Use your stick to push your plastic down as tight as possible to ensure that you have a strong and sturdy eco brick. The rule of thumb is that you should be able to stand on your ecobrick and not have it collapse and warp.


Step 4: Pack your Ecobrick

Stuff you ecobrick full with a variety of plastics.


Step 5: Label your Ecobrick

Label it with:

  • Name
  • Date
  • Final Weight

Step 6: Drop it off or build

Once your ecobrick is jam packed you are ready to drop it off at your nearest drop off point alternatively you can build whatever tickles your fancy.

 

We hope that this article will help you get off your feet in starting your new venture.

 

Happy Building.

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