Ecobricks to tackle the plastic pandemic

Written by Ashley Rice, Programme Manager, Challenge:ELBA

Plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing environmental issues, with an increasing amount of plastic being manufactured, thrown away and reaching the biosphere, where it harms creatures large and small. Lockdown has exacerbated the issue in London with more plastic waste entering into waterways due to bins overflowing with rubbish. One campaigner described the problem as a “plastic pandemic.”

To tackle the problem, ELBA is engaging corporate volunteers to create Ecobricks. Ecobricks are a simple, low-tech solution to put our plastic to good use in short and long term applications. Plastic is packed into bottles which make building blocks that can be reused over and over again. Ecobricks safely secure plastic out of the biosphere and build spaces that enrich our community. The next time you hold a plastic bottle in your hand, try thinking of it not as rubbish to be disposed of, but as the building block for something extraordinary.

Last week, ahead of World Environment Day, ELBA held its first workshop with volunteers to inform them about plastic pollution and teach them the principles of Ecobricking. One volunteer said:

“It was a very informative session and a bit of an eye opener on how little of our plastic waste gets actually recycled. Everyone in my household is on board now to build Ecobricks.”

ELBA has set itself up as a hub for people to send their Ecobricks and we plan to use them in a community project later this year. The UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) takes place in November so we would like to hold a Team Challenge then to build with the Ecobricks. They will leave a lasting legacy and demonstrate our commitment to environmental issues and sustainability. What we build, though, depends on how many Ecobricks are created. This is where we need your help!

We need to engage as many people as possible in creating their own Ecobricks. We can hold virtual workshops to teach people the basics and then they can create the bricks in their own time. This could also be something that people do in the office with their colleagues. All the Ecobricks are weighed and logged so individuals and organisations can track how much plastic has been kept out of the biosphere.

To organise a session for your team or company, please contact

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