The war on plastic is making headlines lately and I am glad more people are becoming conscious of their plastic footprint. I see metal and bamboo straws in shops nowadays, and a lot of the popular coffee shops are likewise switching to paper straws. I have likewise received some reusable items as early Christmas gifts. I hope this shift in consumer mindset is not just a fad, and people will consistently use the reusable items. I hate single-use plastic items. It pains me to see the abundance of plastic trash I pick up during coastal cleanups. I know they have polluted the seas (I hide photos from my Facebook feeds when I come across these). We have a very long way to go to reduce the world’s single-use plastic usage, but I’m glad many people are now taking their first steps.
I came across ecobricks and tried making my own. I read about them from a Facebook group and from some neighbors. How it works is I cut dry clean plastic in small pieces. Some examples are plastic wrappers, plastic bags, and soft plastic bottles. I stack and compress them in plastic soda or water bottles. For every bottle size there has to be a minimum weight. I was surprised at the time it takes for me to fill a bottle up – I think a 1L bottle can accommodate a sack’s worth of plastic. It takes me a couple of months to fill up a bottle. After filling the bottle to the brim and meeting the minimum weight requirement, I donate the ecobricks to our local community garden, who makes walls and other things with these ecobricks.
I asked some environment advocacy groups if they are supportive of ecobricks and I was told they do not because it does not reduce the plastic footprint, and some people would take that route to justify plastic usage. I understand this may sadly be the case for some, but for me personally I am not doing it to ‘offset’ plastic usage. I am still actively looking out for better alternatives. Every chance I can get to talk about it in the hopes of bringing awareness, I’m happy to grab it.