Do you know that plastic is the biggest culprit when it comes to waste production? In fact, we throw away more plastic than any other material. Not only that, but plastic makes up around 90% of all waste that floats around in our seas and oceans. Around the world, people are coming up with creative ways to tackle the plastic waste problem. One of the simplest and most creative ways of repurposing plastic is using it to create eco-bricks for construction. This is achieved by filling plastic bottles with clean, dry plastic and compacting them to fill any voids until the container is completely stuffed. Here are a few of the advantages and disadvantages of eco-bricks.
What are eco-bricks?
Eco-bricks are an excellent way to recycle non-biodegradable plastic that would otherwise end up in the ocean or, worse, in a landfill. Eco-bricks are typically made from PET (polyethene terephthalate) bottles and are as strong as conventional house bricks made from sand and cement.
The advantages and disadvantages of eco-bricks
- The main benefit of eco-bricks is that they transform something that would have been harmful to the environment into something that benefits local communities.
- Plastic is an extremely useful material, but we produce far too much of it and dispose of it in an environmentally unsustainable manner. Plastic’s hardness, lifespan, and water resistance, which make it so difficult to dispose of, are also what make it a fantastic building material.
- Each brick contributes to the reduction of discarded plastic in the world and is produced at a lower cost and with less energy than traditional bricks. It also consumes less energy than recycling plastic into other forms.
- When you see the amount of rubbish you put into an eco-brick, you’ll see how much you throw away. This process also helps you be more careful about what you buy and how you dispose of it.
- Eco-bricks help prevent hazardous material from being burnt or ending up in the ocean. When plastic is burnt, it emits CO2, increasing carbon emissions and contributing to global warming.
- Despite its obvious benefits, some people believe that building structures out of plastic will be harmful to the environment in the long term.
- These non-recyclable plastics are made from inorganic compounds. This means they can leak into the natural environment when the eco-bricks are exposed to sunlight.
- Photo-degradation also makes the plastic fragile and vulnerable to breakage, releasing micro-plastics into the area. This is known to be harmful to animal and human health.
- Eco-bricks have been criticised as not being a long-term solution to the plastic dilemma. Many consider eco-bricks to merely be a means of delaying the problem for a few more years.
Eco-bricks are a sustainable way of reusing non-biodegradable plastic waste. Since plastic is a robust and long-lasting material, it is ideal for construction applications. It keeps plastic out of the environment and avoids pollution.