How does one reuse plastic without using more energy? An inventive practice using old plastic bottles and plastic bags provides a practical solution to the global recycling problem—the ecobrick.
An ecobrick, essentially, is an old plastic bottle solidly packed with more plastic wrappers and bags for disposal. These ecobricks can be piled up one over the other to help build fixtures and structures like furniture, walls, and buildings. Anything is possible.
In New Jersey, an environmental advocate, Julie-Anne Simon, put together several ecobricks she is hoping to donate to the community. She said it could be turned into a stool or used to make raised garden beds. Her initiative inspired a lot of other people, including her friend Josie Marshall to do the same. Not only are they helping the environment through the ecobricks, but the project is helping them too. They are getting rid of their plastic waste without adding to the pollutants in the environment.
Their partnership aims to encourage more people and their families to participate. Their goal is to help communities find ecobricks as a project to help build community schools and facilitate other community projects.
Around the world, several recycling projects are implemented. The call to reduce the use of plastic has only gotten stronger after realizing that not a lot of plastics can be recycled. This is a problem that has put the recycling industry of the world in hot water. Although people have been trying to both reduce the use of plastic or recycle them, the need to do more has intensified.
"This has been a way of educating the public and making them responsible for their plastic consumption," Mrs. Simon said. So far, their family has produced a number of ecobricks with a weight of 1.7 kilograms. The bricks they made are solid, with no gaps in between to make it compact. When needed, they cut the plastic materials to fit the bottles.
Every ecobrick could help reduce the amount of plastic that goes into the dumpsite. It also helps improve the recycling industry by providing an alternative way to get rid of plastic waste. With proper segregation, people can start making their ecobricks and use it anyway they want.
According to Global Ecobrick Alliance, through ecobricks, communities can create greener spaces and reduce their plastic contribution to the biosphere. The beginning may be a challenge, but with communities inspiring each other, the transition to a plastic-free environment would be within arm's reach.