Eco-Bricks – the what, how and whys

Thanks to Plastic Free July movement I started an Eco-Brick factory in our kitchen. I was surprised to see just how much plastic we actually use in a month, and even more surprised to see how much of it fits into a 2l coke bottle.


What is an Eco-Brick?

An eco-brick is a 2l coke bottle stuffed with non-recyclable items such as plastic, styrofoam, etc. They are used to make structures like benches, tables and in some places even houses! You can make your eco-brick and donate them to one of the many organisations that collect them and use them for various projects.

How to make an Eco-brick

Here’s an easy step-by-step on making your first eco-brick.

Step 1 – get a 2l plastic bottle

Make sure the bottle is clean and dry! Very important. Also, don’t lose the lid.

Step 2 – start collecting plastic

I found that almost every dinner I made has plastic left behind, whether it’s a cook-in sauce packet or a frozen veg bag, there seems to be plastic to fill the eco-brick every night. Get a plastic shopping bag or a bucket or container of some sorts to hold the plastic, because filling the bricks up every night is sometimes just not possible when you’re busy.

Having something at hand to throw the plastic into will make it easier to remember to keep the plastic and not throw it away.

I say plastic but I also kept the trays from meat (after washing them) and always make sure that whatever you are putting into your brick is clean and dry. No old food particles should be left on the plastic.


Step 3 – make it as full as possible

To work in the structures, the eco-bricks need to be completely full. No air pockets and no spaces left inside. The best way to get this done perfectly is to use a wooden stick or the back of a wooden spoon. Squish the plastic and other non-recyclable items down as far as they will go.

Step 4 – close it up and donate it

Once your brick is full right to the top, and it doesn’t dent when you press it, it’s ready to be sent to wherever you decide to send them. Alternatively, you could collect a whole lot of them and try your hand at your own eco-brick project.


Why are we doing this?

By now we all know that plastic is a huge problem for our environment. Unfortunately, we’re so dependent on plastic as packaging that it’s hard to imagine a world without plastic. If we are going to save the earth from becoming one big plastic heap, we all need to start doing our bit. NOW.

With eco-bricks, we are able to reduce the plastic that could end up in landfills, or worse – oceans. We are able to use this plastic to help underdeveloped communities. Under-privileged schools are able to receive benches and tables for their students to use. Families are able to sleep safely in a house built from recycled plastics. It’s a win-win.

Places that you can send your eco-bricks to


Pick n Pay

Eco-brick Exchange

Are you getting involved in the Eco-Brick revolution? Let me know how you’re doing!

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