Ecobricks: How To Recycle Plastic

6 January 2019

We NEED to make more of an effort to look after our planet. Yes, I know that big change comes from higher levels and as 'laypeople' we can only make a limited contribution, but, as Tesco would say, every little helps. And it does. During blogmas, I wrote a post on more eco-friendly wrapping and have made being more eco-friendly one of my 9 goals for 2019, so yeah, you could say things are starting to get slightly more sustainable around these parts.

Also, I am so over those people that are saying it’s too late and we shouldn’t bother. Why wouldn’t you help prevent something from getting even worse if you could? 

I studied Biology at A Level Biology (and got an A, woop) and ever since have been very much more aware of the impact we as people are having on our planet thanks to the legend that was my biology teacher. I'm sure you've all seen those heartbreaking photos of Bali floating around Twitter at the moment, but, having been to Bali this summer, and seen it in all its beauty, those photos really did hit a nerve. Failing that, I’m sure we all saw Blue Planet 2 and heard the nation’s Grandad, Sir David Attenborough, voice over what can only be described as some devasting footage.

There are lots of little changes we can all make day to day to help reduce the impact we are continually having. So, for today's post, I thought we'd talk alllll about one that I've been doing for the last few months or so... 
Ecobricks: How To Recycle Plastic. Sustainable, ecofriendly
Ecobricks. I first came across the concept of Ecobricks whilst scrolling through Facebook and decided that I ought to give it a go. We throw so much unrecyclable plastic into landfill every day, so, a solution for what to do with it? Incredible. 

If you haven't heard of ecobricks before, let me explain... Essentially, you just cram a load of plastic into an old plastic bottle which can then be used in all sorts of construction projects around the world. Simple, huh? And that's exactly why I knew I had to give it a go. 

It really couldn't be easier. 

We have one at our student house sat on the windowsill, and two at my family home, and whenever there's any suitable plastic (more on that later) it just gets squished into the bottle and poked down with a stick. 

So, now you roughly know what they are I'm sure you're wondering what on earth they can be used for. Well, let me tell you. They're, as the name suggests: bricks, so can be used to make anything from buildings to benches to boats. 
Ecobricks: How To Recycle Plastic. Sustainable, ecofriendly

How to Make an Ecobrick

  1. Take a clean, empty plastic bottle
  2. Collect some plastic to go inside, anything from crisp packets to vegetable bags. (Note: it MUST be clean and dry! This is to prevent any microbial growth and nastiness going on inside the bottle. I repeat, it must be clean and dry!)
  3. If they're large pieces, cut them down. It makes it so much easier to get them in the bottle.
  4. Find some sort of poker. Some kind of implement to squish everything down with. The aim is to get everything as tight and compact as possible.
  5. Keep filling it and then fill it some more. Keep pushing it down with the stick.
  6. Avoid putting anything that's recyclable in your brick, just recycle it, duh.
  7. Weigh your brick. There are minimum weights for each sized brick to ensure they're the best quality for building with. For example, a 1.5L bottle has to weigh at least 500g.
  8. Add some more plastic. No matter how much you fit in your bottle, there is always room for more. They just seem to keep going and going and going- I’ve been adding to these for ages and we’re nowhere near the target yet.

Now, there aren't that any official collection points but you can use this map to find local organisations/families/individuals that are collecting them. I've just had a look and at the time of writing this, there are 6 collection points within 10KM of Southampton!

Obviously, the numbers vary across the country, but there are lots of them about. Alternatively, why not try building something with them yourself? There are tonnes of ideas online, I've even seen photos of one lady using them as part of her exercise routine at home!? If I was less inept I’d definitely try and build a hot tub or something with them, how cool would that be? A hot tub made from old recycling? I’d be the talk of the town. (I’m not sure it’d logistically work, but a gal can dream). 
Ecobricks: How To Recycle Plastic. Sustainable, ecofriendly

Since doing some more research whilst writing this post I've realised I've made a couple of mistakes with mine so far. So let me let you learn from my mistakes...The Ecobrick website states to layer lots of the same colour plastic at the bottom of the bottle for aesthetic purposes, oops. I didn't realise this so none of mine have this, but I'm not sure how much of a detrimental effect this'll have? It's just a brick after all. 

Also, the website suggests starting with a smaller bottle to get the hang of it, but, here we are with a thicc 2L boy, powering through. So yeah, if/when you start making one, maybe start with a smaller bottle to get the hang of it. 

And there we have it. I urge you all to give it a go, honestly. There really is no argument not to? I mean, it takes a bit longer than just throwing all your rubbish in the bin but it's about the long-term isn't it really?

If this post inspires even one of you to give it a go then I'm going to award myself a Blue Peter badge and give myself a clap on the back. If you do get stuck in, keep me updated! I'd love to see how you're getting on!

32 comments

  1. This is such a good post! I think it’s so important to recycle and learn new ways to go about it! I think becoming a mom has made me more conscious about recycling and waste!

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    1. Thank you so so much! Yessss, we all need to be more careful about the things we're doing to the planet! x

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  2. Omg this is an amazing idea! I actually didn’t know you couldn’t recycle some of this stuff like crisp packets, I’ve been putting it in my recycling bags for years! Definitely going to overhaul my recycling process from now on!

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    1. Isn't it just! Hahah I'm glad to hear that this post has taught you something! x

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  3. Yes, omg, thank you, I needed this. Reducing plastic and becoming more waste conscious and waste free is a big focus for me this year and I had never heard of this - but it makes so much sense!!

    Em xx

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    1. Aaaaah I'm so glad this post has helped you - let me know how you get on!! x

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  4. Wow this is an amazing idea! I definitely agree that we need to do more about our environment. This is such a little thing to do that'll help a lot! I don't know if Ecobrick is available in my country but I'll find out. Great post Becca!

    Taiwo | https://alifestylenerd.wordpress.com/

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    1. Yeah, we definitely all need to do a bit more! Let me know if it is and how you get on! x

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  5. I love this idea! Bringing it to my student flat x

    LEXI LIKES

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  6. Starting the year with 10/10 content Becca, I expected nothing less. I can't believe I've never heard of this before, this is brilliant! Especially since Christmas has just finished and there's loads of wraps and unrecycleable plastics lying around from sweet wraps, biscuit boxes etc. Once the 1 litre bottle of fanta fruit twist has finished in my house, I'm deffo going to give this a go!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Fran | www.franciscarockey.co.uk

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    1. Ayyy thank you Fran! It's so good isn't it and couldn't be easier!
      Let me know how you get on!! x

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  7. I’ve never heard of ecobricking before but it sounds like an incredible idea! Imagine if local supermarkets got involved and had drop off stations, wayyy more people would get involved since it sounds super easy to do! I hope this becomes a trend in 2019!
    Emma | emmadrury.com

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    1. Yes, it's so good isn't it! That is SUCH a good idea Emma!! x

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  8. I've never heard of this before, so thank you for writing about it and spreading awareness. It seems like such an amazing idea, and it's something that I definitely want to start doing xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush

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    1. Ahh i'm glad you've learnt something new! Let me know if you do, I'd love to see how you get on! x

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  9. I haven't heard of this before! I'm going to look into it and see where I might be able to send these in my area, Colorado, USA. I don't use plastic bottles, but I'm sure I can find one. Unfortunately, probably along the road/sidewalk. Great idea, thanks for sharing.

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    1. Aaaah, fingers crossed there's somewhere that collects them! Good luck! x

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  10. I LOVE the sound of this - such a great idea! I studied Geography at University so I'm too aware f how much we're destroying our planet, and this is such a simple way to help that little bit. Thanks for sharing it lovely.

    Lucy | www.lucy-cole.co.uk

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    1. Isn't it just! Let me know if you have a go at one!! x

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  11. This honestly seems like such an amazing idea! I so want to make one! Thank you for spreading awareness hun x x

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    1. It's such a cool concept isn't it?! Let me know how you get on!! x

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  12. This is so simple and so clever, seriously great tip! Will be using this, thanks for sharing xxx

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin

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    1. Isn't it!! Ahh let me know how you get on! x

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  13. This is so so cool! I've looked into it, and I'm actually doing a piece on plastic use for a guest post soon so this is actually perfect for some inspiration! I had no idea about ecobricks!

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    1. Eeeek I'm so glad it's acted as inspiration for you! x

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  14. I can't believe I've never heard of this idea before, its brilliant!

    Lucy | Forever September

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  15. Can’t believe this is the first time I’m reading about these, what an amazing idea! Definitely going to try and give this a go next time I have a plastic bottle x

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    1. Yesss please do!
      And do let me know how you get on! x

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  16. I had no idea this was a thing, it's such an amazing idea!
    I looked at the GoBrik site and there aren't any collection points accepting them near me, but I'll still be trying it out myself x

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    1. Eeeek isn't it!
      Ahh that's a shame but do let me know if you give one a go!! x

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