Recycling plastic in halls is pretty easy – recyclable plastic just goes in the mixed recycling bin. Unfortunately, there is a lot of plastic that aren’t collected by Liverpool City Council – such as plastic bags, cling film, plastic wrap and crisp packets. This can be frustrating as these materials are extremely common in food packaging which makes up a significant portion of our day-to-day waste that we produce. Plastic pollution poses a massive threat to marine wildlife but sometimes it feels like there is little that we can do but there are solutions.
Ecobricks is a global initiative that aims to help prevent plastic waste from entering the land and oceans. They are an alternative to traditional bricks that can easily be made by densely packing non-recyclable plastic waste into plastic bottles. The bricks can then be used by a number of applications – from chairs to entire schools! There are many reasons that make Ecobricks an excellent solution to sustainable building. Firstly, although we try our best to recycle items such as plastic bottles, the process of recycling itself is incredibly energy intensive (so the process produces a great deal of carbon dioxide) and heating the plastic releases toxic pollutants into the atmosphere. Additionally, plastic is often transported long distances to reach recycling facilities – even as far as China. Ecobricks is a localised solution, and the plastics are reused rather than being recycled – saving a lot of energy and reducing atmospheric pollution.
Casey Morris, one of our Sustainability Champions in the Liverpool Guild of Students has recently launched her own Ecobricks initiative, allowing students to volunteer to help make Ecobricks, which will be used to make projects around the University campus. It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet likeminded students who are concerned about plastic pollution and work together to make a difference! Here is how getting involved with Ecobricks has inspired her:
“My journey towards becoming plastic free began after watching Blue Planet II and realising the consequences of my consumption on marine life and the planet. I started making Ecobricks to recycle my plastic in a way that doesn't harm the environment. It also allowed me to track how much plastic I use - I was surprised by how much I got through in just a few days and it really motivated me to seek non-plastic alternatives! Starting an Ecobrick project at the University will help to make a difference on a larger scale.”
Sign up to be a Liverpool Guild Ecobricks volunteer here.
Find out more about the Ecobricks movement here.