Sallys bottles picThe marmite of the plastic world! Some people love them and others don’t; not quite understanding what the point is of stuffing an empty plastic bottle with more plastic  I have been making ecobricks for a few years now. I can’t say I love them though. To make them properly is bloomin’ hard work and very time consuming. But that’s how it should be.

However, it is a very powerful way to take responsibility for your own plastic. It opens your eyes to just how much you use and certainly made me vow to use less. You never buy plastic bottles to use either. That defeats the object. Either beg them from friends and neighbours or, like me, litter pick them.

An ecobrick is a plastic bottle, with a screw top, which is stuffed very tightly with other single use plastics. From biscuit wrappers to cut up blisterpacks. It is all chopped up very small and stuffed into the bottle. It has to be a certain density and when it is complete you can log it on gobrik.com where it is given a number and checked to make sure it has been made properly. This is a kind of quality control so that bricks can be used safely for different projects. As you log, it tells you how much plastic you have kept out of the world!

The idea behind ecobricks is that the world has far too much plastic in it. Most of it single use. Ecobricks are a way of dealing with this problem. They were first thought of in the Philipines where there is a huge plastic pollution problem. It is a way to reuse something that will last for hundreds of years. To use the plastic for something useful and long lasting. The ecobrick website (ecobricks.org) talks of not greying the planet, as we are doing now, but greening it by removing plastic from the environment and using it for something useful and long lasting.

Furniture ecobrix‘Bricks’ can be used to build many things. They can be joined together into modules to make stools, footrests or side tables. People often make covers to go over them.

If they are used outside they can be made into seating, raised beds, walls and shelters. The list is endless. If used outside they need to be covered in cob to protect them from the light.

Some of the ‘bricks’ I have made have been sent to projects round the country but ideally they should be used locally.  At last it looks like we have a local project.
In March 2019, just before the first lockdown, I attended a ecobrick workshop at the Friends Meeting House in Leek. (The Ecobrick organisation organises lots of courses.)  I loved it. I had already been making bricks for a while but found the course very useful and it is always good to be with like minded people. We decided that it would be great to have a local project. Then someone suggested a planter in the Meeting House garden. That’s as far as we got, since Covid struck then.

Now that we are opening up, we are beginning to discuss it again. The idea is to meet regularly, plan the project, make ‘bricks’ and use them to build a planter, which will then be covered in cob.

So, if you are interested in becoming involved with the project and helping to remove plastic from the environment please get in touch with us -

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I’ll let you know how we get on.

Sally Perry

Coordinator Sustainable Consumer Group.