A MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE
An Ecobrick is a plastic bottle stuffed tightly with clean and dry non recyclable materials. These bottle bricks have been used around the world for over 30 years as a building brick and a powerful tool to connect people with their waste.
” The Ecobrick is a reaction to a world wide pollution problem and should only be used as a temporary solution to deal with non recyclables in a community “
BOTTLE SIZES / WEIGHT ?
Different communities use different size / type bottles dependent on the bottle availability and the demand of the project. If you would like to start making ecobricks on your journey to zero waste, ask the project you plan on donating to before starting.
Waste-ED accept and use all shapes and sizes. Your end product should be a hard, well stuffed, clean and dry bottle brick.
There is an estimate weight of 500g for a 2l bottle but it varies greatly on the materials you stuff and therefore it is still up to debate – as long as it is as hard as possible, it is a good ecobrick!
WHAT IS NON RECYCLABLE ?
Non recyclables vary from recycler to recycler, province to province as South Africa relies on private sector to provide recycling services and recently food waste services.
The ecobrick is a useful tool to identify non recyclables in your area and can be used worldwide to track items heading to landfills, oceans or rivers and then steps can be put into place to improve problematic products or systems.
Typically your glass, metal, paper and cardboard is easily recyclable in most areas of South Africa. Plastics vary in quality and melting points and therefore some are easier or more valuable to recycle. Generally resin 1,2 and 4 are commonly recycled and resins 3, 5 and 6 are not as common.
Mixed layer products and small items ( even if they are made from recyclable plastics ) are hard to recycle and not as commonly recycled throughout the country, eg. chip packets, stickers, stationary, synthetic fabrics etc.
Dirty items, whether recyclable or not, will be landfilled unless the facility has a washing process so it is best to wash all used / dirty materials with leftover dishwashing water and then place in your ecobrick or recycling bin.