Ecobricks: Building a better future with non-recyclable plastic waste

There is a plastic bottle on my desk filled to the brim with compacted plastic film packaging. It’s a colourful snapshot of the plastic-wrapped products I’ve bought over the past few weeks. I’ve stuffed these wrappers into a bottle not because of an obsessive desire to recall my previous snack history, but rather to create a ‘sink’ for non-recyclable plastics.

You see, this ordinary bottle is destined to become an ecobrick.

What’s an ecobrick?
An ecobrick is a plastic bottle packed with used plastic film to a set density to create a reusable building block. Ecobricks can be used to produce modular items, including furniture, garden walls and other structures.

How to make an ecobrick

Collect clean and dry plastic waste at home

Find a clean, dry 2-litre cool drink bottle with a lid

Compress waste into the bottle with a stick

Pack tightly throughout the process to ensure it is compressed

Put the lid back on and your EcoBrick is ready to be built with

What’s the benefit?
Each ecobrick contains a large volume of non-recyclable plastic waste, which reduces the impact of such waste on the environment. By storing plastic film in a building brick, we prevent it from contaminating the natural world where it could persist without degrading for decades (think of all those old crisp packets) or be eaten by unsuspecting wildlife.

Of course, there are other possible uses for old crisp packets.

How will the ecobrick be used?
This ecobrick will become a practical, if unorthodox, building material. You can see examples of large and small ecobrick construction projects here.

How can I get involved?
This simple guide tells you all you need to know about making ecobricks. You can click here for more information and details of local drop-off locations.

The ecobrick initiative is part of our commitment to do more. In 2020, we will try to reuse, recycle and upcycle like never before. We invite you to do the same.

All the best for the New Year.