Ecobricks that have been properly made put plastic on a safe millennial road while accelerating personal and collective plastic transition.
Ecobricking uses the longevity and durability of plastic to locally contain plastic. In this way, ecobricks keep plastic out of global industry and out of the biosphere. Ecobricking, as a non-industrial, people-powered initiative is not driven by profit but instead by the planet-passion of individuals and communities. By providing a means to take responsibility for one’s plastic, ecobricking can catalyze and accelerate plastic transition.
As such ecobricking has the potential to meet the full standards of plastic sequestration. But not all bottles with plastic inside them are ecobricks, nor are all ecobricks sequestered plastic! Using blockchain technology the GEA hosts the GoBrik application that enables the independent validation of each ecobrick to be sure it meets ecobricking standards and the criteria of plastic sequestration.
Once ecobricks have been authenticated, the net weight of the plastic inside is referred to as Authenticated Ecobrick Sequestered Plastic (AES Plastic).
Because plastic is potentially toxic and can endure for so long we want to put it on a path that anticipates its security for at least the next thousand years. Unlike industrial means of processing plastic which end up with plastic scattered and loose in the biosphere, ecobricking follows the Earth’s example of long-term carbon compaction and long-term storage.
Packing plastic into a bottle dramatically reduces the net surface area of hydro-carbon based plastic. By packing thin, high-surface area plastic into a bottle, the net exposed area is reduced a thousand-fold. We call this the ‘This terminal minimization of net surface area‘.
Using the plastic of the bottle to contain the plastic, the carbon molecules of the plastic are effectively and indefinitely kept safe from all forms of potential degradation.
A Secure Millennial Road
Because plastic can last for so long, its important to plan far into the future– what we call putting plastic on a safe mlillenial road. If we can do this, then the chances are it will be safe for even longer and a gift for a future age.
We make sure that the ways that ecobricks are used keep them safe for the short and the long-term. This means not just that they won’t be damaged, but that they can be used over and over again.
Ecobricks can be put to all sorts of great short term, circular and modular applications that lead to long-term appliations. The first and easiest application of ecobrick is in making modules. Modules are cradle-to-cradle by design. This means that when a module comes to its end, the ecobrick can be taken out and put to use in another module.
After a few years of ecobricking, an ecobricker may have gathered enough ecobricks for an earth and ecobrick build. Such constructions are long-term and circular. They are constructed so when an earth build comes to its end, the ecobrick can be taken out and used in another building. In earthen constructions ecobricks are completely encased. Because the cob blocks all exposure to sun, friction, or heat the plastic inside the ecobricks impede plastic degradation virtually entirely. Scientific research shows that keeping plastic away from light, oxygen and friction exposure prevents it from degrading.
Earth covered ecobricks have no way to degrade and will remain intact indefinitely. The latent fertility of cob, enables the regrowth of plants, trees and forests over abandoned constructions. With each growth of plants, organic material and soil is deposited. Without intervention, ecobricks will be covered and encased over time, prevent the creation of microplastics and preventing the creation of CO2 from its degradation, incineration, or industrial processing.
The Earth’s ancient processes kept billions of tons of hydrocarbons out of the atmosphere, stabilizing climate and gifting future eras. In the same way, ecobricking enables us to indefinitely secure plastic and its hydrocarbons from becoming toxins, micro-plastics or from reaching the atmosphere as C02.
Accelerating Plastic Transition
Industrial plastic management systems were designed to reduce the ecological awareness of consumers and were extremely effective in doing so. Why not design systems that are effective in raising ecological consciousness?
Ecobricking is unique among plastic management technologies in its direct influence on the consumers of plastic. By enabling individuals to take personal responsibility for their plastic consumption, the manual process of ecobricking compels a direct interaction with one’s consumed plastic.
The meditative and communal aspect of ecobricking catalyzes the raising of ecological consciousness. Ecobrickers tend to pursue more information about waste disposal in their community, plastic, recycling and ecobricking topics. This leads to a steady decrease in the ecobricker’s net plastic consumption.
“Responsible global citizenship requires not only a new social and ecological imagination but a shift in consciousness itself—a transformed way of understanding and construing reality. We have to change our minds—as individuals and as a culture.”
Ecobrickers also tend to put their ecobricks to use in ways that embody cradle-to-cradle principles, exploring regenerative technologies and organic materials (building composters, gardens and food forests). The GEA emphasizes these principles and technologies, in particular the use of ecobricks for local, organic, non-capital earth building.
Standards & Criteria
Only ecobricks that meet minimum GEA standards are considered to be sequestered plastic.
Bottles that are properly packed with used plastic, can be reused over and over indefinitely and minimize all forms of plastic degradation. The plastic inside these ecobricks, once authenticated, is considered AES plastic.
However, bottles that are improperly or poorly packed with plastic are more prone to degradation, damage and discard. Below the GEA recommended density of 0.33 g/ml), such bottles bend and dent easily and can be a fire hazard . Such bottles bend and squish easily, creating indentations in the PET bottle.. Over time, PET stress points degrade faster, and through usage compression and sun exposure, result in rupture.
From the field experience of GEA Trainers around the world it is clear that below a certain ecobricking standard, packed plastic will not be safe inside a bottle for the next centuries.
Consequently, the Gobal Ecobrick Alliance maintains independent, generally accepted, standards for ecobrick makingto ensure that the criteria of plastic sequestration are met by ecobricking. Ecobricking standards were developed by ecobrickers around the world and have been refined and are maintained by the GEA. These standards are embedded in the authentication algorithm that underlies the Brikcoin manual blockchain.
Learn more about the standards of ecobricking
Learn more about the criteria of plastic sequestration
Validation and Authentication
An important part of sequestering plastic is independently authenticating that standards have been met and best practices applied.
Due to the crucial importance of making an ecobrick properly to ensure long-term sequestration and the rising awareness of the value of sequestered plastic, the GEA maintains and develops the GoBrik platform and the Brikcoin manual blockchain. As an Earth Enterprise, our motive is not profit– but rather to secure as much plastic as possible while inspiring plastic consciousness and transition. The GoBrik platfrom leverages the planet passion of the global community of ecobrickers to review every ecobrick that is logged in a process of peer-authentication using a revolutionary manual block chain technology.
When ecobricks are logged on GoBrik, they are automatically submitted to the public validation queue. There, any active ecobricker may review the ecobrick and validate that it has been made properly and meets minimum GEA standards. When three independent reviewers have validated the ecobrick, the system tallies their reviews and either authenticates or rejects the ecobrick.
Only authenticated ecobricks are considered authenticated sequestered plastic.
Authenticated ecobricks generate brikcoins based on the amount of sequestered plastic they contain (measured in Kg). Authenticated ecobricks are automatically posted to the pulbic Brikchain, made available for user exchanges, posting on the GoBrik Marketplace and count towards a user’s Plastic Transition Ratio.
Authenticated Ecobrick Sequestered plastic provides valuable ecological services.
- …plastic that has been put on a thousand year path secure out of industry and our of the biosphere
- …plastic that won’t degrade into microplastics, CO2 or green house gases
- …plastic that will shortly be put to local use for short-term household projects
- …plastic that will be put to use to build earth and ecobrick green spaces
- …plastic whose ecobricking raised ecological and consumption consciousness
- …plastic that can no longer carry the Covid-19 virus nor weigh down our municipal waste systems
Authenticated Ecobrick Sequestered plastic serves as the foundation of the Brikcoin currency through the valuable ecological service that it represents.
Authenticated Ecobrick Sequestered Plastic represents plastic that has been secured from contaminating the biosphere and quantified by the brikcoin manual blockchain as Brikcoins.
The Brikcoin manual blockchain and currency are based on AES plastic. 10 Brikcoins are generated for every 1Kg of ecobrick plastic that is authenticated. As such the Brikcoin is based on the AES Plastic Standard and is a currency based on ecological service. Brikcoins can be used on the GoBrik platform to register for courses, purchase regenerative products, exchange for ecobricks and more. Brikcoins can also be used to purchase AES plastic offsets in a process of conversion into that plastic that the currency represents.
The full accounting of generated brikcoin blocks is stored on our human searchable brickchain. Every authenticated ecobrick is stored on our decentralized ecobrick repository.
Equivalent CO2 Sequestration
Plastic that has been ecobricked is plastic that won’t degrade into CO2.
As such AES Plastic has a CO2 sequestration value. We are currently working to calculate this value based on the following AES plastic carbon services…
- Ecobrick sequestered plastic won’t be incinerated and won’t release its stored carbon as CO2.
- Ecobrick sequestered plastic won’t generate more CO2 through its processing in the recycling industry
- Ecobrick sequestered plastic won’t photodegrade releasing CO2 and other green house gases
- Ecobrick sequestered plastic won’t degrade into microplastics and interfere with zoo plankton and their work sequestering carbonin the oceans
- Ecobrick sequestered plastic will be used to make home furniture, removing the need to purchase industrially manufactured, shipped, and disposed furniture
- Ecobrick sequestered plastic will be used to build with earth mehtods– encouraging localized regenerative building and alleviating the need for cement and industrial materials which have large CO2 impacts
- The work of ecobricking represents time not spent participating in the petro-capitial economy (buying, consuming, etc) and the CO2 generation.
- The process of ecobricking raises ecological consciousness and encourages the lowering of plastic consumption and its associated CO2 generation
- The process of ecobricking accelerates plastic transition and disassociation from the petro-captial economy and its CO2 generation.
In 2018, the GEA estimated that for every 1kg of plastic that is burned, 3.1kg of C02 is released based on the average carbon content of average single use plastic. As of August 2020, the GEA is currently preparing a white paper report re-xamining our estimated CO2 impact of authenticated ecobrick sequestered plastic based on the points above.
On the GoBrik app, successfully authenticated ecobricks also are currently credited with a CO2 sequestration credit of 3.1kg CO2 per 1Kg AES plastic..
We live a world where it is impossible to not use plastic. Not all of us have time to sequester our plastic. However we can support those who are doing the hard by balancing or ‘offsetting’ of our plastic impact.
The plastic that we consume and produce is our responsibility. But til, now there was little we could do but lament our impact. AES Plastic registered on the Brikcoin manual blockchain enables the revolutionary new concept of plastic offsetting as a means to not just balance your impact but to accelerate deep plastic transition on societal. Individuals, households and companies can now purchase AES Plastic credits as a way to balance their plastic and work towards their own transition..
Offsetting means balancing. Plastic offsetting is way to balance off the plastic you consume or produce. Its a little bit like how some people plant trees or buy carbon offset credits to balance off the carbon footprint.
AES Plastic is the foundation of the brikcoin blockchain. On GoBrik you can purchase of plastic offsets, measured in kilograms of sequestered plastic using brikcoins or normal currency. In so doing the brikcoins corresponding to the weight of plastic purchased are destroyed and a certificate issued to the buyer by the Global Ecobrick Alliance.
The offsets are certified by the Global Ecobrick Alliance. The GEA issues a serialized certificate which is logged on the brikcoin blockchain and your account credited with AES plastic offset credits.
Plastic offset credits and their certification can be used by companies to compensate for plastic that they produce and consume during their yearly operations. Likewise, offset credits can be used by individuals to take responsibility for the impact of their household’s plastic consumption.
Is Ecobrick Plastic Sequestration a Final Solution for Plastic?
In the circular systems of the biosphere and its ecologies, there’s never such thing as ‘final’. The carbon that we’re extracting after hundreds of millions of years of storage, is a gift of ancient sunglight empowering homo sapiens to reach incredible new heights. Likewise, by sequestering our plastic into long-term storage we’re gifting it to future generations. Just as the dinausaurs had no idea how their forests and oceans would be used by us far in the future, we have no idea how our re-stored carbon can be used in the future.
We do have a good idea though, that its alot better gift sequestered and stored safely than scattered loose and degrading in the biosphere.
A Millennium Road
Ecobricking done properly is a way to sequester plastic– to put it on a pathway that keeps it from getting loose into the biosphere over at least the next thousand years.
Ecobrick & Brikcoin White Paper
Go deep into the science, ethos, and vision behind our Brikcoin Manual Blockchain and AES Plastic.
“When you sit in council for the welfare of the people, you must not think of yourself or of your family, not even of your generation. Make your decisions on behalf of the seven generations coming, so that they may enjoy what you have today.”
— Oren Lyons (Seneca) Faithkeeper, Onondaga Nation
Sequestering Plastic During CoVid-19
Ecobricking during Covid-19 helps secure plastic from being a transmission medium for the virus. Household ecobricking also takes pressure off of municipal solid waste systems that struggle during the pandemic.