There are 25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean and every day, each person in Singapore throws away 13 plastic bags. Yes, that amount is no longer a shocker to us anymore. These plastics are fueling the world’s incinerators and contribute to the release of dioxins and other toxins, as detailed in Cradle to Cradle.
We are all well aware of the dire state of plastic pollution happening in our oceans and how plastic is now the number one enemy of everyone.
So, what if we told you, there is a way to reduce the amount of plastic being thrown into the ocean? Plus, you can actually do it from the comfort of your home and it requires only 2 minutes of your time?
What exactly is this magical method that holds the potential of solving the top global problem now?
Well, the answer is – an Ecobrick! Here is the basic information you need to know about these magical building blocks:
What is an Ecobrick?
An Ecobrick is essentially a reusable building block created by solid non-biodegradable waste placed into a plastic bottle to a set density.
By packing the bottles with a set density, it makes them suitable building blocks for virtually any construction. They can also be packed with other non-biological un-recyclables that, uncontained, are toxic to the environment (i.e. styrofoam, wires, small batteries, etc.).
Ecobricks are a sustainable way to reuse non-biodegradable plastic waste as plastic waste is regarded as a long-lasting and durable material. Hence, keeping plastic out of the ecosystem and prevents the contamination of the environment.
Ecobricks are used to make many things such as furniture, walls and buildings. It allows communities and companies to get control of their plastic waste to create modular furniture, garden spaces, walls and even full-scale buildings.
How does it help the environment?
EcoBricks prevent plastic waste from disrupting the ecosystem:
Usually, when thrown away, plastic breaks down into tiny pieces and contaminates the area where it is.
EcoBricks seal the plastic away preventing the buildup of toxic gases emitted during the degradation of the plastic, such as methane.
PET bottles are perfect for sealing away the plastic because they have an incredible longevity and protect the contents from UV rays.
Ecobricking raises ecological consciousness:
We often do not think about the afterlife of our discarded plastic bottles. Ecobricking addresses our short-sightedness, as making Ecobricks demands time and dedication, it leads to questions on the uses of plastic.
Ecobricks are a low energy solution to plastic:
Recycling isn’t necessarily the best solution since the facilities demand technology, funds and a substantial amount of human energy.
It also involves transportation and the waste can travel around the world before reaching its destination only to end up in a saturated recycling plant.
EcoBricks don’t require all that fuss, with anyone having the ability to make their own Ecobricks. It is a simple solution to a complex problem which can be applied anywhere by everyone.
How do I make an Ecobrick?
Follow the following steps and you can be an owner of an Ecobrick!
1. Get your plastics ready
Only use clean, dry plastic or else microbiologicals beings can grow and form methane in the bottle. If there is any food, oil or dirt on your plastic, be sure to wash then dry.
Clean and dry plastic includes styrofoam, bags, packaging, straws, cellophane and is basically anything else that is not recyclable.
Do note that you are not supposed to put any glass, metal or biodegradables into the bottle.
2. Choose a bottle
Find 1.5 litres or 500ml bottle and you are ready to start!
3. Find your perfect stick
Find the correct stick which will allow you to pack the plastic well, it should be twice the height of your bottle, with a slightly rounded tip and with a diameter roughly one third the width of a standard bottle opening– about 6mm
4. Get creative with your ecobrick
The first piece of plastic should be soft plastic with a solid colour, so be creative as it will make your trash look colourful!
5. Pack your bottle!
Pack your bottle with plastic, alternating between soft and hard plastic to maximise the density. The smaller the pieces, the denser you’ll get, so cut up big plastics into smaller pieces!
6. Weigh your Ecobrick
Minimum Ecobrick weight = Bottle volume x 0.33
Minimum density goals are essential to ensure the quality of ecobricks as it helps to ensure good constructions, make the most of the volume and energize the social spread of ecobricks.
Do be careful as Ecobricks should not be too soft as they will not be reliable enough for construction.
Build Your Own Ecobricks!
Now that you have an idea on how to build an ecobrick, why not get your hands dirty and join us in for our Ecobricks Workshop! You will get a chance to build them yourselves.
We will be conducting an Ecobricks Workshop on 25th May 2019 and we want you to join us! It will be a great opportunity for you to gain insights on the plastic waste situation in Singapore to understand why eco bricks are so necessary.
Following the informative session, we will dive straight into creating our own ecobricks. Some tips and tricks will also be shared, so do listen out for them so that you can use it when building your own bricks in the future.
The next part of the workshop is an exciting one, where we will learn how to create functional items, like tables and stools, with the ecobricks we made. There is no limit to what you can create! It all depends on your creativity and imagination.
After all that fun and hands-on experience, we hope that the workshop would allow you to:
Develop an understanding of the concept of ecobricks and how it may be used;
Explore solutions to tackle both recyclable and non-recyclable materials in your household lifestyles; and
Build up your knowledge and skills that help to develop long term green habits and reducing personal waste consumption.
Date: 25 May 2019, Saturday
Time: 2.30pm – 5.30pm
If you are already as excited as we are, sign up here and we will see you there!