Plastic is not new to us. It is, undoubtedly, a long time friend of progressive human race but recently, those blinded earlier are able to observe the ill effects of this friendship. Global warming, land degradation, hydraulic fracking and increasing vulnerability to cancer are some, direct or indirect, impacts of plastic. While these claims are accepted by some, others denounced them as baseless. In some cases, stating the obvious needs no evidence like in the case of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
However, unanimous voices can be heard when asked if we are taking the right steps to crub this pollution. Despite multiple steps taken and new technological advances, environmentalists have not pointed towards any improvement on a global scale. Even after imposing several bans on single use, non-recyclable plastic, its consumption has not dropped with multiple reasons ranging from lack of substitute to corruption and loose implementation.
Moreover, lack of holistic approach in academia is making teacher’s efforts futile and innumerable articles by students on ‘How to Save Environment’ go in vain. The unshakable concentration on the issue and ignorant attitude towards taking steps towards a solution is the root cause of stagnancy.
Although, ecobricks can emerge as a ray of hope for the souls stuck in plastic. An ecobrick is a building block made entirely from unrecyclable plastic. It’s created by filling a plastic bottle with clean, dry plastic until it’s packed tightly and can be used as a building block. Besides providing a solution for non-recyclable plastic, ecobricks are also cost efficient, durable and a great way to dispose of plastic waste that would otherwise end up in landfill, and potentially, the ocean.
Furthermore, ecobricks can utilize the water resistant, longevity and durability of plastic while minimizing its unsustainable handling. As well as preventing plastics from ending up in the ocean, ecobricks also save plastic from being incinerated. When plastic is burned, it releases CO2, generating carbon emissions and contributing to global warming.
Besides that, the biggest advantage of ecobricks is that they take something that would otherwise have a negative impact on the environment, and turn it into something that benefits local communities.
Though the plastic product has innumerable advantages, the drawbacks cannot be overlooked at the same time. These non-recyclable plastics are made from inorganic chemicals, which may leech into the surrounding environment as the ecobricks are exposed to the sun. This could cause immediate harm to the soil and eventually reach the water table where these chemicals threaten aquatic plant and animal life.
Ecobricks certainly offer a ready-made solution to the immediate problems posed by plastic. They are a hugely powerful tool for cleaning up local areas, educating schools and communities, and creating structures that will stand the test of time.