What is an ecobrick?
According to ecobricks.org, an ecobrick is “a reusable building block created by packing clean and dry used plastic into a plastic bottle to a set density.” Ecobricks make it possible for us to take personal responsibility for our plastic waste, turning it into something that is put to good use.
Ecobricks can be used to make furniture, build walls and modernise garden spaces. At the moment, the Endangered Wildlife Trust is working on a project called the Urban Conservation Programme in which ecobricks made by the public will be used to improve the grounds of 12 schools in Hammanskraal. You can donate your ecobricks to the project by dropping them off in the collection boxes at participating Pick ‘n Pay stores.
How do I make one?
You’ll need a plastic bottle (any size will do) and a long stick (a wooden spoon will suffice). You basically stuff your plastic into the bottle and compress it using your stick as you go. You will be amazed at just how much plastic can go into one ecobrick!
The secret is to make the ecobrick as dense as possible – the more it weighs, the better. Ideally, it should weigh at least a third of the volume of the bottle you use. For example, if it is 6a 00ml bottle, it should weigh at least 200g.
What can I put into my ecobrick?
Anything that isn’t biodegradable can be added to your ecobrick. Sweet wrappers, Styrofoam, plastic wrap, cellophane, chips packets, straws and plastic bags are all fair game. Just make sure that everything you use is clean and dry before putting into the ecobrick.
And that’s pretty much it. It couldn’t be simpler or require less effort to make such a massive difference! If everyone started ecobricking, just think of the benefits, it would have in terms of the long-term sustainability of our planet. So spread the word – future generations will thank you for it.