World Environment Day has inspired us to focus on the EcoBrick for a little bit. It sounds like a slightly odd concept but it is an incredible initiative that more people need to get on board with. These little ‘bricks’ are your step in getting rid of all non-recyclable waste from your home. It is such an easy thing to do, get your family on board and let’s create an abundance of EcoBricks.
But first, what on earth is an EcoBrick?
The ins and outs of the EcoBrick
The EcoBrick is a simple solution to get rid of products that are not easily recyclable so that they stay out of oceans and landfills. Even better though, EcoBricks are used as building materials! The EcoBricks are used as thermally-insulated building blocks. Cool, right?
EcoBricks are constructed from 2-litre plastic bottles that have been tightly packed with non-biodegradable waste. It’s as simple as that! A pro-tip is to keep your bottle near your bin so that all plastic waste can be put into the bottle, conveniently.
It helps to use a wooden stick, like the handle of a wooden spoon, to push the waste down and compact the plastic as much as possible, this allows you to fill the bottle more. An EcoBrick is complete when the bottle can no longer be squeezed and is hard, there should be no space inside the bottle. EcoBricks need to weigh about 500 grams.
According to an article by Getaway Magazine, Cape Town alone has over one million households, and if each house produced one EcoBrick a week, there would be enough EcoBricks to build over 600 classrooms. This is an incredible initiative that removes non-recyclable waste while creating cost-effective building materials. It turns something so negative into something that is able to help numerous communities.
What goes into an EcoBrick?
There are countless waste products that can go into your EcoBrick. We’ve compiled a list of a few of them:
- Laminated paper
- Photos and transparencies
- Polystyrene trays/cups
- Plastic fruit/ vegetable punnets/P.E.T Trays
- Silvery packets (from chips to chocolates)
- Plastic Straws
- All plastic packaging
- Plastic shopping bags – they might be reusable but they are a must for EcoBricks as the majority of them end up in landfills
The just of it is to fill your 2-litre bottle with any and as many non-biodegradable products as possible.
How to make an EcoBrick:
We’ve briefly explained how to make an EcoBrick but here’s exactly how it’s done:
What you need:
- 2-litre plastic bottle
- Wooden stick
- Non-biodegradable waste (duh)
How to do it:
- Compress and twist waste before inserting into bottle. This makes it easier to get inside.
- Slip your twisted waste into the bottle and compress with a stick
- Fill the bottle to the brim with the compressed matter (It should weigh about 500g upon completion)
- Celebrate your completed EcoBrick – if definitely deserves an Instagram post (you can even tag us, we’d love to see it!)
- Drop it off at a local drop off point
This video will show you in detail how to create an EcoBrick.
What do I do with my EcoBrick?
Once you have completed your EcoBrick(s), you need to find your closest drop off point and take them there. From there they will be used in various communities as building materials.
There are various drop-off points throughout the country where you can take your EcoBricks. The Getaway Magazine has listed some drop-off points in available in South Africa:
- Grind Café, Stanley Street, Greenacres Office Park, 76 2nd Ave, Newton Park – Port Elizabeth
- Tile and Brick, Hugh Road, 11 Heugh Rd, Walmer – Port Elizabeth
- Re-trade Project, Walmer, 22 Newcombe Ave, Walmer Heights – Port Elizabeth
- Greenpop Nursery, 107 Mountain Road – Woodstock
- Hangar 18, Unit 3 Woodbridge Business Park, 452 Koeberg Rd – Milnerton
- Faithful-to-Nature, 57 Capricorn Dr – Capricorn
- Salt, 136 Main Rd – Fish Hoek
- Longbeach Mall, Buller Louw Blvd – Sunnydale
- MFM Radio – Stellenbosch University
- Health Connecitons, No.10, Valyland Centre, 27 Upper Kinrae Cres, Fish Hoek
- Wecreate, Shop E26, no.10 Van Beek Street, New Maboneng
- Mamelodi West Community Hall, 51 Tsweu St, Mamelodi – SA5, Pretoria
We’re obsessed with this great initiative! Creating a sustainable way of living, focusing on what’s good for our environment and bringing communities together is part of our way of life. If this is something that sets your soul on fire, you need to experience the Namaqualand Flower Festival.