To some, it’s just plastic waste but to others, it’s a home. Ecobricks are the new eco-friendly solution to building houses and furniture but what are they?
In simple terms, they are plastic bottles tightly packed with used, but clean, plastic filling. Their purpose is to prevent plastic waste from ending up in landfills and rather use this durable resource to create building materials. People have even built houses with them!
There are many different types of plastics but most of them are made of synthetic substances which make it impossible for them to fully decompose. In fact, these only break down into smaller microplastics that end up disturbing our eco-system by polluting our water and being absorbed by plants, animals, and us!
Avoiding plastic purchases as a whole is a great solution to this problem, but considering how everywhere we look there is something built out of this material, it can be hard to completely avoid it, which is why Ecobricks are such a great solution.
How to build an Eco-brick?
1. Since there are different types of plastics, you want to grab a PET transparent plastic bottle for this project. The way you can differentiate this from other types of plastic is by searching for the triangular “chasing arrows” and making sure there is a #1 in the middle.
2. Wash and dry your bottle. You don’t want to risk mould building up inside, so this step is very important.
3. Gather all of your plastic packaging. Styrofoam and straws are also welcome! Like your PET bottle, wash it and set to dry.
4. Once dry, fill up the bottle! You will probably need to grab a pair of scissors to cut down large plastic pieces and ensure they fit. Please be careful when doing this as some plastics can be very sharp once cut.
5. Grab a wooden stick (It can be anything really) and start compressing. You want to make the most out of the bottle so compress as much as you can and keep the plastic inside as tight as possible!
6. When it’s filled to the top, it will be heavy like a brick. Put the lid on and drop it off! There are plenty of drop-off locations and you can find the closest to you here; https://www.ecobricks.org/exchange/
If we can’t avoid plastic, we might as well do something positive with it.
Paola Nosthas is a sustainability enthusiast that helped create this post. You can follow her Instagram; @Paola Nosthas for more sustainability tips.
You can also visit The EocoBrick project to get more information.