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  • Writer's pictureNathira Jezeefa K

Eco-Bricks: a sustainable switch for construction materials

Bricks are a commonly used construction and building material around the world. Majority of the people prefer burnt bricks for the construction purpose which emits nearly about 1 ton of CO2 .For environmental protection and sustainable development, extensive study has been conducted on fabrication of bricks from waste materials. Hence, Eco- bricks are prepared from garbage waste material which comprises of organic and non-organic wastes. The most destructive problem is caused by the non-organic waste leading to plastic pollution.


There are two major sources of plastic pollution:

1. Plastic wrappers: No matter how much ever we try to avoid it, almost all products on the market are wrapped in plastic. Be it milk, bread or snacks. Since all of these are our everyday necessities, we cannot avoid it but while buying we also feel guilty that we are generating waste. Actually, The problem is that the scrap hawkers also don’t accept plastics and if we put this in the dustbin, they don’t get recycled and the waste keeps on pilling up.


2. Plastic bottles: We try to avoid plastic bottles a lot. But since almost all soft drinks come in plastic bottles, we end up buying it. This will surely shock you; but according to a research done by Euromonitor, an institute that carries out international market research, the world’s population consumes 1 million plastic bottles every minute!


What if there is a combined solution to both these problems?

There is. It is the Eco-bricks. Eco-bricks are so simple to be made that they can even be produced at home and the plastic wrappers which can’t be recycled can be used to make these.


How to make your own eco-bricks at home?

The process of making is so easy and is explained in simple steps.

1. Save and segregate the non-recyclable and less recyclable wrappers

2. Clean and dry the plastics

3. Choose your bottle

4. Start packing your plastic wrappers into the bottle

5. Compress the wrappers with the use of a stick

6. Seal the Eco-brick bottle with a cap and screw it firmly

7. Weigh the Eco-brick to ensure quality of product. The Global Eco-brick Alliance (GEA) has determined that an ecobrick’s density must be higher than 0.33 g/ml.

8. Store and Build!


Fig.1.Save,segregate,clean and dry the plastics



Fig.2.Packed and sealed Eco-bricks


Ensuring that the wastes that go into the eco-brick shouldn’t be metals, glasses, papers or any bio-degradable materials is essential because these can be recycled independently. The usage of eco- bricks are not only limited to construction of structures but also can be used to make furniture.



Fig.3.Usage of Eco-bricks with earth for construction


In conclusion, Usage of eco-bricks will lead to a decrease in non-organic waste generation and act as a sustainable alternative to construction material. In addition to the practice of eco-bricks, the usage of local earth, straw and sand to make the mortar can help build structures that are resilient, strong, beautiful, and thermal-retentive. In this way, the eco-bricks can be recovered and used again without any damage if and when the structure is to be destroyed.



Sources referred :


Author:

Nathira Jezeefa K

CMTI, Campus ambassador

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