An eco brick is a plastic bottle packed with used plastic to a set density. Eco bricks are single-use plastic bottles that have been cleaned out and packed tightly with other bits of single-use plastic to be reused .They serve as reusable building blocks. It is an effective means to manage plastic waste which ultimately helps in effectively securing the plastic from degrading into toxins and micro plastics. The process initially was started in Guatemala. It’s use was started as a building technique to solve excess plastic problems in areas without an effective waste infrastructure. Soon enough, other countries like South Africa and the Philippines caught on. Eco-bricking is both an individual and collaborative endeavor. The Eco bricking movement promotes the making eco bricks at personal level as a means to raise awareness of the consequences of consumption and the dangers of plastic.
The answer to “why should we adopt making Eco bricks to manage plastic waste” is quite understandable. There are several reasons behind bringing Eco bricks into use. These includes-
- These are a great way to reduce the plastic waste sent to landfill.
- These extends the life of plastics that are manufactured for a single use.
- These are also viable for building more affordable infrastructure from pre existing materials.
- These are used to make many things including furniture, walls and buildings.
- These allows communities and companies to get control of their plastic waste to create modular furniture, garden spaces, walls and even full-scale buildings.
- These also leads to ecological consciousness as these addresses our short-sightedness. Making Eco bricks demands time and dedication, it leads to questions on the uses of plastic.
Ecobricks, thus, are a sustainable way to reuse non-biodegradable plastic waste as the plastic waste are regarded as a long-lasting and durable material. Hence, keeping plastic out of the ecosystem ultimately prevents the contamination of the environment.
Recycling plastic into bricks might sound complicated, but it’s actually very easy. These easy to follow steps can help you reuse the domestic plastic waste to make eco-bricks-:
- Take a plastic bottle and ensure that it is clean and dry before putting it to use.
- Add some plastic into the bottle. Using dry and non-biodegradable plastic is a must. Also, cutting bigger plastic into smaller pieces is a good idea to fill all the gaps.
- Squash the plastic you put into your bottle down, so it is packed as tightly as possible. Try to make sure there is no free space between your pieces of plastic.
Keep putting and squashing plastic in the bottle until the bottle is completely filled.
- Now you have successfully made your eco-brick.
Keep into account the following-:
- The volume of bottle. Bottles ranging from 500 ml to 1.5l are preferable. However, it also depends upon the use of the eco-brick.
- Eco-bricks having a good mix of soft and hard plastics are preferred because this helps to make them more dense.
- Gaps must be avoided within the eco-bricks.
- Minimum weight should be 0.33g per ml. If your ecobrick is not heavy enough, it cannot be used for building, so maintaining density is a must.
- Use dry plastic for filling.
ECOBRICKS IN INDIA
People all over India have been trying to share their bit towards saving our environment. Trying to curb plastic waste, many of them have done exceptional work by brining in the use of eco-bricks.
Lending a hand to enable Maharashtra to recognise its dream of a plastic-free state, students from as many as fifty schools from Mumbai have decided to launch an initiative to construct a toilet block on the city’s Versova beach out of junked plastic bottles.Part of this initiative will also be to ensure that no plastic bottles or bags end up on the coastline or a landfill site.
Ashwani Khurana, owner of a 9-hole golf course and resort at Manesar, collects snack packets, disposable cup covers ,food wrappers and other plastic waste and get them cleaned, dried and scissored into strips by his staff and stuffed, with the help of twigs, into PET water or soda bottles.The bottles are then used as bricks or building blocks for a variety of utilities, including modular furniture, garden benches, walls, fences, art installations and even homes.
All of us must repay our Earth and do all that we can to protect it. Remember, we don’t need hundred people to produce zero plastic waste perfectly we rather need millions of people do it imperfectly.
“If you can’t reduce it , at least reuse it.”