The world is facing one of the most daunting issues, the mounting waste problem. According to Wold Count, just for 2018, there will be 5 trillion plastic bags that will be consumed. If you put one after another, you will have enough to cover an area twice the size of France. Only less than 1% of these used plastic bags are properly recycled. Poor solid waste management is threatening to drown some poor countries in toxicity by polluting the environment which then impairs public health.
The disposal of solid waste is a problem. This continues to grow with the growth of population and development of industries. What can we do to contribute in the reduction of solid waste? There are many alternatives, but here’s what we can do about the plastic that is already in our lives, turn them into Ecobricks.
What are Ecobricks?
According to Two Ocean Aquarium “An EcoBrick is a plastic bottle packed tightly with non-biodegradable waste. These bottles are then used as building materials to create sustainable homes, schools, and furniture.”
Say hello to Ecobrick.
It’s basically a green construction material made from solid waste which keeps the waste out of our ocean and landfills.
How to make Ecobricks?
You will need a relatively clean and dry plastic bottle, plastic wrappers/paper or other non-biological waste and a stick.
Step 1: Prepare the plastic bottles by rinsing them and keeping them dry.
Step 2: Stuff the bottles. Use a stick to push down the plastic around the inside of the bottle. Move in a circular motion, pushing down along the sides of the bottle. It is advised to cut up big plastics into smaller pieces and mix soft and hard plastics to maximize the density.
Step 3: Check for any signs of leakage. Ruptured bottles will not last and can leak plastics. Since this will be used to build the foundation of structures that people may live in, it’s imperative that quality is in check.
Step 4: Weigh the Ecobrick. According to Ecobricks.org, a good minimum density is 0.3 g/ml. This means that a 600ml bottle will have a minimum weight of 200 grams and a 1500ml bottle will have a minimum weight of 500 grams. In mathematical terms, 1 Ecobrick weight should be equal to the bottle volume multiplied by 0.35.
Ecobricks might be one of the deep solutions to the plastics that are already out there. It represents a different approach to waste management. While recycling has always been our solution, this alternative could be energy intensive and often involves transporting trash to other location which involves long distances. Ecobricking, on the other hand, enables folks like you and me to maximize the potential of a could-be problematic plastic waste and put it to good use. Waste becomes a highly insulating, robust, affordable, building material in the form of an Ecobrick. Furthermore, the awareness that grows on you while Ecobricking puts us on the road to consuming and using plastics wisely.