Date issued: 29 May 2019
Schools and community groups urged to create Ecobricks to help tackle plastic waste
Schools and community groups across the borough are being urged to create Ecobricks to support Colchester Borough Council’s drive to reduce the amount of non-recyclable plastic being sent to landfill.
The council, which is committed to protecting the environment by reducing waste particularly plastic, has written to all Colchester schools and community groups to encourage them to help achieve their ambition.
It has invited them to turn any plastic waste that cannot be recycled into Ecobricks – an empty plastic bottle tightly packed with non-biodegradable materials to form a ‘brick’.
These can then be used to build furniture or help create picturesque gardens for example. In some parts of the world Ecobricks are used to build homes.
Last year the council launched the Colchester Plastic Pledge as part of a push to create a Better Colchester. Residents and local organisations were invited to make a pledge to reduce their own use of single-use plastics.
Creating Ecobricks supports this aim by providing an alternative use for non-biodegradable rubbish. They can be joined together using things like silicone, tire bands and cement to create a range of structures.
Now the council has contacted schools and community groups to encourage them to take up the Ecobrick challenge and share their creations.
Councillor Martin Goss, Portfolio Holder for Waste, Transport and Environment, said: “Through our plastic pledge campaign not only have we encouraged people to think about their own use of single-use plastics, we have led by example by looking at own use as well.
“As a borough we are among the very best in the country for recycling. However, there is so much more all of us can do to help protect the environment.
“There are so many things people can make out of an Ecobrick and I will be fascinated to see how creative our schools and community groups can be.”
While making an Ecobrick is simple there are important guidelines to follow including:
- bottles should only be stuffed with non-biodegradables – for example biscuit wrappers, carrier bags, cling film, packing tape, popped bubble wrap. No paper, glass or sharp metals should be added.
- all materials put into the bottle must be clean and dry.
- people should use a stick to pack the bottles as tightly as possible.
- coloured plastic should be used to fill the bottom of the bottle and any air pockets to give the Ecobrick its colour.
As well as working to reduce its own use of single-use plastics and urging others to follow its lead, the council is also continuing to reach out to and work with local organisations to encourage them to offer residents and customers reusable and more environmentally friendly alternatives to single-use plastics.
More information about how to make an Ecobrick, including the minimum weight they need to be depending on the size of the bottles, can be found at https://www.ecobricks.org/how/
For more information on the Colchester Plastic Pledge see www.colchester.gov.uk/colplasticpledge