South Africa
Ecobricking from plastic waste
Posted by Amazing GIG, South Africa on 31 May 2018

We have been learning about plastic waste and how much of it ends up in the ocean.   The world produces enough plastic each year to rap around the earth 4 times!!!  Over the past ten years, we’ve produced more plastic than in the whole of the last century.  Ten percent of this, 26-30 million tonnes a year, ends up in our oceans. All this plastic never ever goes away or completely degrades. Instead it collects in certain areas due to the ocean’s currents. In the Great Pacific Garbage Patch there is enough plastic to fill Texas twice, and plastic waste out-numbers sea life six to one!!!!  Fish eat plastic, thinking it’s food, and the plastic has absorbed toxins from the ocean – so we eat toxic fish!  One million seabirds and over 100,000 sea mammals die each year due to plastic pollution! 

So, we decided to do something with our plastic waste. We collected all the plastic bags and packaging that could not be reused and put it all in a large container. We also collected plastic bottles.

On Tuesday, at our Amazing GIG meeting, we used all our plastic waste and bottles to make Ecobricks. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Push plastic into the bottle.
  2. Use a stick to push the plastic down until it’s really tightly packed.
  3. Keep going until the bottle cannot hold any more and is completely full of plastic.

We made 9 Ecobricks out of 2 large containers full of plastic and we were amazed at how much we decreased the volume of the plastic. Making Ecobricks reduced the volume of the plastic to about 1/6th of the original volume.

We are going to continue making Ecobricks and we hope that someday we will make a bench or something like that using them.

By Boaz Whitehouse (10)

Local Partner African Conservation Trust

Water Explorer is a Global Action Plan initiative
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