John Wesley Hyatt made the first synthetic polymer in 1869. Everyone was interested in the fact that a human had never before been able to produce a substance that wasn't found in nature. Although there was significant demand for ivory at the time, the industry's morale was poor because it was viewed as the murderer of wild elephants. Plastic was promoted as a superior option because it could take on various forms and doesn't harm animals.Leo Baekeland later developed the first totally synthetic plastic. It is excellent for mass production, has a long lifespan, and is heat resistant. Major companies accelerated plastic research and development because they thought the material would offer countless opportunities.Additionally, when supplies were scarce during World War II, it did get even more pervasive. Plastic quickly established itself as a top material for military equipment, including parachutes, body armor, uniforms, helmets, and aircraft windows due to its low cost and ease of mass production. During the war, plastic output in the US rose by 300%.The US is currently the leading producer of plastic in the world. But unlike the glorification it formerly received, plastic is now blamed for the rise in dangerous trash production worldwide. Plastic contains dangerous substances that enter our food and marine environments, polluting the oceans and entering our bodies through ingestion.The idea of recycling was first promoted in the 1960s by the plastics industry itself. As a result of the material's extended lifespan, plastic that has served its purpose can be reused, recycled, and upcycled for a new purpose rather than filling landfills for decades.The Ecobrick was invented in the 2000s. An ecobrick, also known as an eco-friendly brick, is a building material made from a plastic bottle with additional plastic trash within. Susan Heisse, who intended to address the plastic waste buildup at Guatemala's Lake Atitlán, is credited with starting it all.Russell Maiaer, the founder of Ecobricks.org, had a similar tale in which he used eco-bricks to build a garden wall to deal with waste in the Chico river, a source of water for the Igorot population in the Philippines.Today, eco-brick is utilized in the construction of buildings, walls, and furniture.
Reasons to Start Ecobricking
You may reduce the amount of garbage you generate and consume in your home by eco-bricking. Your shopping decisions will be positively impacted by this information, helping you to avoid creating these waste items in the future. Of course, by recycling used water bottles, you are keeping them out of the trash and keeping them from washing into the sea. Recycling reduces the plastic problem, but because it calls for technology and other resources, it is less environmentally friendly than eco bricking.Everyone can participate in eco-bricking, and it can be done anywhere. This is a fantastic starting step for you to attempt if you've been wanting to support initiatives to mitigate the damaging impacts of plastic on the environment.
Creating an Ecobrick
Creating an eco brick is easy, and using household garbage as a base is an excellent place to start. Collect non-biodegradable trash that is clean and dry from around the house, then pack it into a water bottle until it can only be squeezed by about 10%. A more detailed module with a step-by-step tutorial on how to create one was released by Ecobrick.org. Below, we attempt to summarize it:Separate accumulated plastic waste from other trash. The plastic should be cleaned of any debris and dried thoroughly to prevent the formation of methane and microbial development inside the bottle.Keep in mind that materials like cotton, metal, paper, cardboard, glass, and organic materials cannot be converted into microplastics; hence they are not required to be used in eco-bricks.Pick your primary bottle. According to ecobricks.org, buildings with similar eco brick sizes are more durable. Take into account three factors: the volume, what your project will be, and the availability of bottles.Get your stick ready. Its main purpose, for which it is known by eco-brickers as their magic wand, is to make the plastic vanish. The best materials are bamboo and wood. The size will depend on how large your primary bottle is, but it is generally advised that the stick be one-third the width of a typical bottle opening. Use only smooth, undamaged sticks; if something happens, a sharp or broken stick can just stop your momentum.Cover the eco brick with a cap. Be sure to leave 1-2 cm between the plastic and the cap inside so that it is not overflowing.Squeeze the bottle's contents to add the accumulated plastic garbage. Avoid pushing too hard since you can break the bottle and have to start over.To assess the ecobrick's quality, weigh it. When looking at the weight-to-volume ratio, a good product will be substantial, strong, and tightly packed. Soft eco-bricks might easily cause structural buildings to collapse and possibly pose a fire risk due to air pockets that remain in the bottle.Put the details of the eco brick on paper. Maintaining everything on track is crucial whether you're doing it by yourself, with a peer, or with your community. The name of the ecobricker, the final weight, the date and year of construction, the planned project, and the serial number should all be included in the log.Write down the same details in your bottle. Avoid using stickers or paper labels since they eventually lose their effectiveness. You can place a label on the inside of the bottle, scratch into the bottle, or use enamel paint. Make sure that whatever you decide to inscribe is durable.Ecobricks should be kept indoors, away from direct sunlight. Cover with a cloth or anything else that will keep dirt and dust from settling on the eco-brick.When making the actual eco-bricks and the project that the eco-bricks will form, you will need space and a table to work on. The garage is the perfect area where you can start and finish your project. You just have to make sure that there is a workshop area by decluttering your garage and organizing the items you store there on a wall shelf or an overhead storage rack. You can use a durable work table because eco-bricks can get quite heavy. There are options you may choose from FlexiMounts that are guaranteed to be stable and spacious.