Simply put, an ecobrick is a plastic bottle (soda, milk, anything really) stuffed full of non-recyclable, non-biodegradable rubbish. These bricks are then used to build walls for homes and pretty much any kind of property. They make excellent insulating walls that are as sturdy as any regular brick but are also good for the environment.
This is putting our waste to good use and not leaving it to rot away in a landfill that is really doing no one any good at all. All it takes is a little effort to sort and clean, and then to fill your bottles. You’ll be amazed at how much you throw away that could actually be put to good use.
1. Start The Segregation
In this case, proper segregation is a good thing. You want to separate your recyclables and biodegradables from your ecobrick rubbish. Anything that is going into your ecobrick needs to be properly cleaned and dry, with no bits of food or other biodegradables attached.
You can use a range of things in your ecobricks. The most common fillers include non-recyclable plastics. These can be sweet wrappers, clingwrap, foil bags for chips and biscuits, packaging stickers and more.
2. Prep Your Brick
An ecobrick is a plastic bottle. A two liter one is best, but you can also do any other plastic bottle – milk, water, soda, juice – and they can be square or round. The people using them to build will sort them into the correct size and shape for the job at hand. The most important thing for you to worry about is ensuring that the bottle is clean and dry before you start to put any waste into it.
3. Start Filling Your Brick
The ecobrick should be filled with a combination of hard and soft waste. The harder waste needs to have the softer waste wedged in between it to ensure that the whole of the bottle is filled completely. When you start with an empty bottle, plan your attack with the waste that you’ve collected to ensure it is fully utilized.
To get a little extra stuffing power, use a solid stick or rod to help compress the rubbish into the bottle. You can also use the stick to move the waste around inside the bottle to ensure the corners are all filled properly. An ecobrick is ready to use once it is fully stuffed and you can’t compress the sides by squeezing the bottle with your hands.
A good ratio to stick to is that a regular two-liter bottle should weigh about 500 grams when it is properly stuffed.
4. Drop Off Your Ecobrick
There are a number of places all over the country that accept ecobricks, and just like the games we love they’re easy to access. Just do a quick Google of your area and you’ll find a shop or center that accepts them. The organizations will then distribute the ecobricks to where they are needed most. In many cases, they are put to use building affordable housing.