Eco-Bricks help care for creation

Earlier in the Summer, members of Trinity’s Junior Church tried their hand at making Eco-Bricks – and recently they shared the idea with the congregation as part of Creation Time.Eco Bricks made by Junior Church members at Trinity URC Wimbledon

An Eco-Brick is a building block made entirely from unrecyclable plastic. It’s created by filling a plastic bottle with clean, dry plastic until it’s packed tightly and can be used as a building block. Eco-Bricks can be used in all sorts of sustainable building projects, which makes them a great way to dispose of plastic waste that would otherwise end up in landfill and, potentially, the ocean.

What are Eco-Bricks used for?

The plastic in an Eco-Brick is very durable and will never break down, making it an ideal building material. They’re used in developing countries to construct furniture and even buildings, and they’re also used in the UK to build children’s playgrounds.

How to make an Eco-Brick
  1. Choose a bottle. This is really important because you need to get the perfect bottle to build the perfect Eco-Brick. The key thing to think about is size. Any size bottle will work as an Eco-Brick, but the average size tends to be between 500ml to 1.5l. You should also make sure that you’re using a bottle from a product that you use regularly – you don’t want to end up having to buy a plastic bottle just to make an Eco-Brick!
  2. Prepare your plastic. Any plastic that you put in your brick needs to be clean and dry – any dirt can lead to microbiological growth and methane forming inside your brick. If you put dirty plastic inside your Eco-Brick it can make the bottle bloat and the cap can even pop off – not to mention it won’t look very nice!
  3. Get a stick. You’ll need a stick to poke the plastic in your bottle down so you can fit as much as possible in! A bamboo or wooden stick will work best, and it should have a rounded tip to make sure it doesn’t pierce the bottle when you are squashing the plastic down.
  4. What not to put in your Eco-Brick. Remember – the things you put in your Eco-Brick can’t be recycled or won’t break down, so be sure not to include metal, paper, card, food waste or glass.

Here are some of the items you can put in your brick:

  • Plastic bags
  • Photo paper
  • Crisp packets
  • Food containers
  • Straws
  • Plastic cutlery
  • Cling film
  • Plastic fruit and vegetable packaging
  • Polystyrene (or Styrofoam) – this is a petroleum-based product that can’t be recycled. Lots of products are made out of this including food containers and packaging.
What to do with your finished Eco-Bricks

Lots of people have been asking us about this! The website of the Global Ecobrick Alliance has some pointers and advice, and we hope to look into some further possibilities.

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