Making a good and more importantly useable Ecobrick isn’t difficult. You just need to follow a few rules and have a decent (and sturdy) poking stick to ensure the plastic is as packed at you can make it. Here are my tips on how to make a good eco brick.
First step, gather your plastic.
This is the easy part, just keep a bag or box in your kitchen and use it to store your plastic waste before packing (and before it gets thrown into the bin!). Make sure the plastic is clean otherwise the inside of your Ecobrick will get mouldy. EW! Good sources of plastic are snack wrappers, plastic wrap, food bags, crisp packets, plastic windows out of envelopes. You know the stuff you can’t recycle? Put it in your Ecobrick. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll need to gather, at least 400g for a 1.5l bottle. Remember, only non recyclables can go into your EcoBrick.
Second step, choose your bottle.
You’ll need to chose your vessel in which the plastic is going to be “sequestered” in. Choose a bottle that is one width all the way down (apart from the neck narrowing) as bottles with curves are MUCH harder to pack well. I learnt the hard way and tried to pack a Tango bottle. It didn’t work.
Third step, cut up your plastic.
I do this is phases. Spend 5 minutes here and there chopping your plastic up into smaller pieces. A decent pair of kitchen scissors will do this job really well. You want the plastic pieces to be small at this means they are easier to stuff into the bottle, you’ll get way more in AND it’s easier to use your stick to poke them down nice and solid.
Fourth step, using your “pokey stick”.
Go for a stick that is longer than your bottle and preferably made out of metal. It has to be able to fit through the top of the bottle too. I use an old mop handle with a bit of tape around the top as a handle, It looks a little like a prison weapon but it does the job PERFECTLY! I broke no end of wooden sticks before I settled on a metal one. Don’t make the same mistakes as me. Go for metal straight away!
As you fill the bottle with plastic, use the stick to push the pieces down really firmly. Ensure the plastic gets right down into the bottom of the bottle and keep packing and pressing all the way up through the bottle. Without the stick, the bottle probably won’t be dense enough to be authenticated on the GoBrick website and therefore couldn’t be allocated to a project.
Keep weighing your EcoBrick, and use the Eco Brick weight guide to ensure you’re packing enough plastic into it.
When you’re done packing your bottle, don’t forget to label it with your Ecobrick’s number, write the weight on the bottle and take a photograph of it. Then you can register it on GoBrik.