ECO BRICKS! - What are they and how can we use them?

Smart Mug Co. have been trying to figure out ways to use the gastronomic amount of single-use plastic that appear in our office and the offices within our building. We are a company trying to reduce the world's consumption of plastic, and still, I go out to the kitchen to make a brew, or I unbox a delivery of supplies and low and behold more PLASTIC!!! 


Now don't get me wrong the first thing to do is contact companies asking them to reduce the plastic packaging they use. (I will post some example letters soon). Next is to research companies that are eco-friendly and don't use plastic. Thing is what do you do with the rest of the stuff? The stuff that for hygiene or safety reasons is in plastic wrapping?


Here at Smart Mug Co. We have done some research and have discovered ECO-BRICKS. It will only take a little bit of googling to see just how amazing these bricks can be and the changes they are making all over the world. ECO-BRICKS are being used to build houses, schools and water wells in third world countries. They are being used by schools worldwide to create parks and picnic areas. 

 

ECO BRICKS! - How do I make one and how we can use them? I hear you asking. Well, don't worry, I am going to explain how to make your ECO-BRICKS out of the 500ml, 1.5L drinks bottle you buy the most. I'm also going to post a couple of project ideas to do at home as well as links to external sites where you can join the Eco bricking community and send you bricks to other projects.

My guilty drink in a plastic bottle is Vimto. Here at Smart Mug Co., we are using both Vimto cordial bottles and Vimto 500ml bottles. Vimto bottles are the bottles found most commonly in all the offices in our building.  

What Plastic can I put in my eco 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. Products that use this material include food containers and many types of packaging.

Don’t forget that you can always cut up plastic to go in your eco brick, even if it seems too big.


How do I fill my Eco-Brick?


You will need a stick preferably wooden with a rounded end. I use a Wooden spoon with a long handle. The rounded ends are crucial so not to pierce the bottle when using the stick to stuff down your plastic. 
Make sure all your plastic is washed and clean as any food particles remaining can cause a build-up of methane gas causing the top to pop off over time and destroying the integrity of you Eco-Brick.


Aways stuff the plastic into every corner and crevis of the bottle as you ant you Eco-Brick to be as dense as possible. 


Once you have filled you Eco- Brick you then need to weigh it. On average, a 500ml bottle when full with weighing around 175g. 

I have filled my bottle now what? 


Here is the fun bit you can use you Eco bricks to do whatever your imagination allows, maybe you want to do a project at home? How about making some garden furniture? Or a shed?




If you don't fancy building, there is plenty of community projects and drop off points all over the country. Sign up to www.ecobricks.org to log your Eco Bricks (this is important as it lets scientist and governments know how much plastic waste produced) And to find out drop off locations and community projects in your area. You can even send you Eco Bricks to Smart Mug Co, and we will get your Eco-brick to a project in need.