What is an Ecobrick?

By now, we are all aware of what the term ‘Eco-bricking’ means. For those who don’t, it’s nothing but a simple solution to our plastic waste and problems related to its efficient management. Without the need for expensive machines and pieces of equipment, special skills, or huge investments, eco-bricks help us in undertaking personal responsibility for the plastic that we have used by keeping it out of industrial systems, keeping it out of the environment, and putting it to good use. The base of an eco brick comprises a plastic bottle that is later filled with solid clean and dry plastic waste like small packets, polythene, wrappers, etc. Ecobricks are made to store plastic inside a closed container to limit its chances of interacting with elements of nature and polluting soil and water. It is also created for serving as reusable building blocks.
The idea of making eco-bricks was a new one for my friends and family. After showing them multiple videos online and explaining the process of making them, we decided to circulate the idea among the members of our society as well. At the initial stages, the response was not great, or at least what we had expected. To tackle the problem of unawareness, we decided to carry samples of eco-bricks so that people could see and understand the concept. It was natural that they preferred to discard the plastic waste in their household bins or the local municipality bin but to convince them to store it and make eco-bricks out of it was the hard part. For starters, they preferred to use plastic bottles for storing water and carrying them to work. Using those pet bottles for Ecobricking seemed like an absurd idea to them. However, we tried to convince them and shared some clips with them which shed light upon how marine animals were getting mistreated because of our act of lethargy and selfishness. Thousands of marine animals die or are born with abnormalities due to the contamination of the water bodies in which they live. Approximately 70% of the members of my society agreed to co-operate and collect these eco-bricks. Since there are not many eco-brick exchanges in my city, we decided to store the eco-bricks made by each household, collect them by the end of the month, and sell them to a ‘Kabadiwala’ or rag pickers who can then sell those to local recycling centers. With the cooperation and support of the members of my society, we could even make small benches and raised beds for our garden and playground.
This is just the beginning. If we all swear to undertake this responsibility with zeal and seriousness, we’ll help in making this place a better world to live in. I’ll try to work in harmony with those who have agreed to accompany us, and I’ll try to convince those who haven’t because the change starts with us.

Ananya Singh
Author: Ananya Singh

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