Our SolutionView this page in Visayan.
COLLECT – CONTAIN – CREATE
We re-use discarded plastic bottles as containment devices for the epic amounts of soft plastic garbage littering the land and oceans
We wish it were not so easy, but it’s hard to walk on the grass or swim in the sea without encountering plastic bags, food packaging and other soft plastic trash.
Our team collects plastic bottles and soft plastic waste, bringing them to our eco village site for containment.
A 1.25 litre plastic bottle will hold about 750 grams of soft plastic trash, once we stuff it to maximum compression. For an idea, this is equivalent to at least 125 plastic grocery bags.
Protected from sunlight, these “ecobricks” will survive at least 500 years.
Garden beds. Chairs. Structural walls for buildings.
The compressed plastic inside plastic bottles provides a robust construction material, attracting our design creativity.
Some ad hoc dump sites we find have been sitting and getting funky for a while – we give these a rinse and then leave them to dry out before processing further. This makes life easier for the team when chopping and inserting into bottles.
To achieve maximum compression of the soft plastics inside the ecobricks, smaller pieces work best. Thus, we try to chop all plastics into thin strips, then cross-cut them again into pieces about 3 cm long.
Originally one of the fiddliest parts of the process, we’ve now optimized to the point where we funnel majority of the chopped plastics directly into the ecobrick bottles via a custom-built workstation (desk with holes in it).
Periodic compression of the plastics inside the ecobricks is performed to allow for more stuffing. A good indicator of the strength and quality of an ecobrick is that a 1.25 litre bottle will weigh about 750 grams when properly compressed of small pieces of soft plastic. It will also be very firm when squeezed.
The end-product. Limited only by our imaginations – and inspired by the great work done by Russell Maier and friends of ecobricks.org.
We build houses, garden beds, chairs and anything else we can match the durability of the ecobricks with.
Keeping them from exposure to the sunlight or seawater is one of the biggest things to keep in mind when considering an application.
Silicon glue may be used for bonding and bottles can be joined in such a way as to have giant Lego-style building blocks.