A bottle with plenty of power

What can you do with thin plastic bags and film? Put it in a bottle! In this way, the otherwise light material becomes increasingly solid until a stable building block is created.

A bottle full of plastic.

What is an Ecobrick?

According to the Global Ecobricks Alliance, Ecobrick is a PET packaging bottle that is compactly filled with plastic waste that is difficult to recycle. The plastic waste should be dry and clean to prevent the growth of microorganisms in the bottle.

The plastic waste is stuffed into the plastic bottle with the help of a stick until it is stable and hard. An Ecobrick must have a minimum density of 0.33 g/ml. For example: Ecobricks with a bottle volume of 1,500 ml must then weigh at least 500g.

The history of Ecobricks

It all began in Guatemala in 2003. At the time, Susanne Heisse collected plastic waste and stuffed it tightly into plastic bottles. She used these first Ecobricks to build a wall. Her simple act has inspired people all over the world to this day: from South America to South East Asia and South Africa.

Of course, you can create more with Ecobricks. In Guatemala, many school buildings have already been constructed from Ecobricks, in the north of the Philippines, teaching using Ecobricks has been integrated into the curriculum and in Sumatra, Indonesia, we are building the largest recycling village in the world, also using Ecobricks!

Why are Ecobricks so practical?

Plastics that are difficult to recycle cause many problems in Indonesia. There, a large amount of plastic waste is incinerated without proper procedures or simply left scattered around. This ultimately damages the soil and water. This becomes even more problematic when plastics are exposed to UV rays for long periods of time. This is because they then break down into microplastics and pollutants can be released. By converting them into Ecobricks, these plastics are insulated and protected from UV radiation.

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When plastic collection becomes a source of income

Innovation: the Ecobrick deposit system

The Ecobrick is ideal for collecting and compressing plastic waste. We quickly realized that we wanted as many Ecobricks as possible!

In order to free nature from plastic waste and motivate as many people as possible to produce Ecobricks, our local managers have told the inhabitants of the project region the following: Collect plastic waste from nature, rivers and lakes. and your own household, cleans and dries it. Then use a stick to stuff it into the plastic bottles until they are stable and hard .

For every Ecobrick, people receive 5,500 Indonesian rupiah. That’s the equivalent of around 40 cents, which is enough for a meal there.

The Ecobricks can be handed in daily at the Eco garages. Here they are checked for density and weight, counted and exchanged for money. In the meantime, the Ecobrick pledge system has become a relevant source of income for more than 140 families as they free the environment from wild plastic waste. More than 300 people, including those from neighboring regions, return their Ecobricks to us and use the “deposit system” as a helpful source of extra income.

The world's largest

Recycling village

is being built right here