Follow the green EcoBrick road

Posted on 31 October 2018

The EcoBrick is a simple solution to turn plastic waste into green construction material. Essentially, it is a way to keep plastic out of landfills and the ocean, and to use as thermally-insulated building blocks.

What is an ecobrick?

EcoBricks are constructed from 2-litre plastic bottles that have been tightly packed with non-biodegradable waste. Keep your bottle near your bin so that all plastic waste can be put into the bottle. It helps to use a wooden stick of sorts, such as the handle of a wooden spoon, to compact the plastic as much as possible. An EcoBrick is complete when the bottle can no longer be squeezed, and there should be no space inside the bottle. EcoBricks should weigh about 500 grams.

Cape Town alone has over one-million households, and if each house produced one EcoBrick a week, there would be enough EcoBricks to build over 600 classrooms. But rather, these are sent to dumps and landfills. There are many exciting ways to use EcoBricks from home. Upgrade your garden with a raised flower bed. Communities can build interactive structures like park benches, boundary structures or temporary exhibition structures.

Non-recyclable waste that can go in EcoBricks:

–       Laminated paper

–       Photos and transparencies

–       Polystyrene cups / trays

–       Plastic vegetable and fruit punnets

–       Silvery packets (chips, chocolates, etc.)

–       P.E.T. trays

–       Wax paper

–       Dog food bags

–       Straws

–       Cellophane

–       Styrofoam

–       All plastic packaging

–       Plastic shopping bags (despite being reusable) are a must for EcoBricks as the majority of them end up in landfills


Tips for making an EcoBrick:

1.      Waste should be twisted as it is easier to insert into the bottle

2.      Compress waste with a wooden stick

3.      Once the bottle is unsqueezable (no space left) the brick is complete

4.      Take your EcoBrick to a drop-off point

Drop-off points for EcoBricks across South Africa:

Port Elizabeth

–       Grind Café, Stanley Street, Greenacres Office Park, 76 2nd Ave, Newton Park – Port Elizabeth

–       Re-trade Project, Walmer, 22 Newcombe Ave, Walmer Heights – Port Elizabeth

Western Cape

–       Greenpop Nursery, 107 Mountain Road – Woodstock

–       Hangar 18, Unit 3 Woodbridge Business Park, 452 Koeberg Rd – Milnerton

–       Faithful-to-Nature, 57 Capricorn Dr – Capricorn

–       Salt, 136 Main Rd – Fish Hoek

–       Longbeach Mall, Buller Louw Blvd – Sunnydale

–       MFM Radio – Stellenbosch University

–       Health Connecitons, No.10, Valyland Centre, 27 Upper Kinrae Cres, Fish Hoek


–       Wecreate,Shop E26, no.10 Van Beek Street, New Maboneng

–       Mamelodi West Community Hall, 51 Tsweu St, Mamelodi – SA5, Pretoria

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