Right now, the earth is facing a major environmental crisis. Ice caps are melting, species are going extinct, deforestation is rampant, and pollution is a major issue.
Single Use Plastics
The use of single use plastics like plastic packets, water bottles, wrappers, etc. has caused a major problem over the past several years.
They are rarely recycled, and are usually disposed carelessly. As a result, they end up clogging oceans, in landfills, or even in the stomachs of unsuspecting animals.
This Is Where Ecobricks Come In
Recently, the Akshar School in Pamohi village, Assam, grabbed headlines for their unique way of functioning.
They have a lot of underprivileged students, and rather than make these students shell out fees in currency, they pay their fees by collecting plastic trash and handing it over to the school.
They also earn extra money by tutoring younger students, which helps them attend school and support their families at the same time, instead of having to give up their studies in order to work.
How They Are Made And Used
These plastic ‘fees’ handed over to the school are not wasted. They are converted into ecobricks, which are then used for construction on campus.
Ecobricks are made by filling used plastic bottles with smaller plastic trash to give them some weight.
These are then used like regular bricks, interspersing cement to give shape and form to a work of construction.
Not only does this take care of plastic waste that would otherwise be useless and a menace to the environment, these ecobricks have several advantages.
Why Ecobricks Are Great
As we all know, plastic lasts extremely long, and can survive a multitude of weather conditions, from extremely hot summers to cold weather.
Plastic found in the ocean that’s several decades old also proves that plastic can be exposed to water for years without sustaining much damage.
This makes it an ideal material for construction, as recycled plastic waste is very hardy and long lasting, and can be used to make structures that last longer, and therefore need less care and maintenance.
Shayna Eco Unified
While schools like Akshar use a rudimentary type of ecobricks that are not melted or changed from their original form as plastic bottles, an organisation named Shayna Eco Unified goes a step further.
They collect empty plastic bottles and containers used to hold shampoo, detergent etc. from households once a week, and then melt and treat this plastic.
This is then moulded into tiles that last extremely long and also look attractive, and can be used easily for construction.
Only 12 Years To Save The Earth
Environment activists and the media have made it clear that the earth is in pretty bad shape, giving us roughly 12 years to save it.
I feel channeling discarded plastic into the construction industry is a great way to handle the problem of plastic pollution.
It not only cleans up landfills and oceans, it also reduces construction waste and makes structures more durable.
Do you have any more suggestions on how to effectively recycle single use plastic? Tell us in the comments!
Image Credits: Google Images
Sources: News18, Shayna Eco Unified
Find the author online at: @samyukthanair_