LIFESTYLE
19/10/2018 11:16 BST | Updated 19/10/2018 15:09 BST

What's An Ecobrick? The Latest Way People Are Re-Using Their Non-Recyclable Plastic

Could your plastic waste be used in a wall or piece of garden furniture?

We’ve all woken up to the reality of our plastic obsession and the impact it’s having on the environment – and now people are going to extreme lengths to avoid chucking it out.  

Rebecca Evans, a mother from Wales in the UK, posted a photograph of an unusual solution to dealing with plastic waste on Facebook.

She has stuffed a bottle with non-recyclable plastic, transforming it into what’s known as an ‘ecobrick’ – essentially a plastic building block that can be used to add stability to other structures such as garden furniture.

A Facebook page called Ecobricks UK lists a host of volunteer collection points in the UK – including Carlisle, Plymouth and Bristol.

“It’s taken me nearly three weeks to fill one bottle with un-recyclable plastic. Every week we were having to throw out so much plastic that couldn’t be recycled which in my eyes is just criminal. Our world is being destroyed by plastic and our wildlife killed. It’s not right,” Evans wrote in a Facebook post.

“When I found out about ‘Ecobricks’ I immediately got on board. All you have to do is fill an empty water bottle with clean, dry un-recyclable plastic and these can then be used to build indoor furniture, gardens, structures... the list goes on,” she explained.

The post, written last week, has struck a chord with people who are concerned about the plight of the environment. It has been shared by more than 57,000 people and liked 35,000 times.

She told HuffPost UK: “I haven’t actually made anything yet, I’m still very much a novice and have only completed one ecobrick so far. I try to shop as plastic free as possible [so] it did take me three weeks to fill it.

“A friend of mine is collecting them to make something for her sensory garden at her work, so that’s where I’ll be donating mine for now.”

The ‘ecobrick movement’ is also promoted by a not-for-profit organisation, GEA. According to its website, some of these plastic bottles are being transformed into walls and used inside concrete structures in countries like the Philippines.

This raises questions around the structural integrity of using plastic as a building material. HuffPost UK contacted GEA but hadn’t heard back at time of writing.