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Ecobricks are being used to build things using plastic and it could help save our environment

These bricks are made with PET bottles which are then packed with clean plastic that is cut or ripped into small pieces.

Ecobricks are being used to build things using plastic and it could help save our environment
Father and son recycling, eco-bricks - Getty Images | DarioGaona

Have you ever thought of the amount of plastic waste that we create daily? Most of the things that we use are made of plastic - from containers to product packaging. Plastics are polluting the environment and aggravating the climate crisis.

Recycling and composting are two sustainable ways of managing waste but waste which cannot be recycled are sent to large landfills. So what do you think are the solutions to this problem? Making eco-bricks is a smart way to handle waste without sending it to landfills.



 

 

Ecobrick is a plastic bottle filled with used plastic which can serve as building blocks to be used for different purposes. In the short term, it could be used for furniture and modular functionality in open spaces. In long term, it can be used in gardens and for Earth building, as reported by My Modern Met

However, the usage of an ecobrick must fit the guidelines provided by Global Ecobrick Alliance (GEA) which are that ecobricks are not-for-profit. The plastic within them should be compacted by hand so that it can be used for long-term and short-term purposes. It needs to be used in building something that contributes to the "maintenance and encouragement of biodiversity." Moreover, it is also a consciousness-raising experience for those who are part of the process.    



 

 

Despite there being multiple types of ecobricks, the most common one is a regular ecobrick. These are made with PET bottles like soda bottles which are then packed with clean plastic that is cut or ripped into small pieces. Many layers are added and then compacted, attention is given to evenly distributing the plastic and making a solid and sturdy brick. 

If one thinks about the need for ecobricks, it basically transforms plastic into something useful without polluting the environment. Moreover, it makes people responsible for what they are throwing away.

So, now here are tips on how to make these ecobricks:

1. Plastic needs to be clean

The plastic used in the process could be food packaging bags, straws, clear plastic, etc. First one needs to make sure that each piece is clean and dry. It can be cleaned in a dishwasher or washing machine. The bricks should only include plastic. 

2. Same size bottles

Then find a PET bottle and stick with it. All the bottles should be the same size as it will be easier to build because of the uniformity. 



 

 

3. Compact the plastic

Then, take a stick to compact the plastic in your ecobrick, preferably bamboo and wood. You could also start with the end of a wooden spoon.

4. Select a color

Choose a color that would help with the design when multiple bricks are used. Use soft plastic which is in a solid color and then push it down to fill up the first half inch of a brick. 

5. Fill the bottle with cut pieces of loose plastic

Next, cut the plastic into small pieces and fill the bottle with loose plastic. Then use a stick to compress it. Make sure that the layering is even. However, do not pack the brick too much as there are chances of the top to burst. Leave about a little less than an inch of space between the plastic filling and the cap. 



 

 

6. Keep the minimum weight in mind

The minimum weight of an ecobrick has to be its bottle volume multiplied by 0.33. So, for example, if you are using a 600ml bottle, it needs to weigh about 200 grams. 

7. Label right

Make sure to write the weight, the date, the name of the intended project, and serial number by the GoBrik app using enamel paint or nail polish.

8. Store the ecobricks well

The last thing to do is to keep the ecobricks ready to use by storing them away from the sun. It needs to be wrapped so that it doesn't collect dust and set off the floor. 

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