Ecobricking as a local, non-capital, Plastic solution during Covid-19
Ecobricking is a way to stay safe and help your community during the CoVid-19 period. Ecobricking can help relieve the burden on centralized waste management systems, prevent plastic surfaces from being contagious and secure plastic out of the biosphere. Then when its all over, we can use our ecobricks to build green community projects to make our communities even more resilient.
Ecobricking single-use plastic during the CoVid-19 pandemic is a means for civic and government action to flatten the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus. The GEA has issued an in depth white paper report (see the GEA Official Press Release) that outlines the reasons for Covid-19 ecobricking. Ecobricking can help prevent the transmission of the virus on single-use-plastic. The GEA advocates ecobricking during the Covid-19 period as it can provide a three-fold service to our households, communities, planet and save lives.
First, by immediately washing and drying plastics that we consume during this time (delivery packaging, food wrappers, masks etc.) we can prevent them from passing on the virus. Secondly, by packing clean and dried plastics into a bottle any potential viral contamination can be safely contained until the virus is neutralized by the passing of it’s period of vitality. Thirdly, ecobricking our used plastics will help reduce the stress on our cities crucial waste management systems during this challenging time.
By ecobricking we can help keep our communities clean and healthy by preventing our plastic from pilling up, being burned or dumped. Then, once the pandemic comes to its end, ecobricks can be put to use by communities for gardens and green spaces to increase local regeneration and resilience.
- Have a small to medium sized PET bottle (<700ml / 25oz), a packing stick, and scissors ready to go.
- Prepare a soap and water cleaning station for both your hands, tools and your plastic. Familiarize yourself with WHO hand cleaning guidelines.
- Prepare a system for drying your cleaned plastic – an outdoor clothesline is ideal. Placing inside a pillowcase/cotton bag in a warm room also works.
Immediately Prepare the Plastic...
- As you are consuming plastic (i.e. removing bread from a bag or noodles from a packet) be sure to open the plastic in such a way that remains one contiguous piece.
- When opening food packaging, remove all the remaining food and store in a glass or ceramic jar (i.e. transfer extra noodles to a glass or ceramic jar for storage)
- Cut the plastic open to maximize its surface area – but make sure it is still one contiguous piece.
- Clean the plastic with your hands, using soap and water under running water for at least 30 seconds.
- Dry your plastic.
- Wash your hands and your packing tools, then cut the plastic into small pieces that can be easily ecobricked. If you’re sick, put on a face mask.
- Start packing the plastic into the bottle following the the GEA 10 Step Guide at www.ecobricks.org/how. When your packing session is done, cap your ecobrick.
- Ecobricks must meet the density, labeling, color and all other best practice criteria.
- Once completed, seal the ecobrick with a screw top cap and log online.
Logging your ecobrick...
What not to Ecobrick
The conventional GEA guidelines of what not to ecobrick remain the same (no sharp metal, glass, biodegradables, etc.). For ecobricking within the Covid-19 Pandemic, we emphasize that medical waste should not be ecobricked. Designated medical waste requires special handling and is not within the scope of ecobricking. Any such waste, such as syringes, respirators, bandages and clothing should be left for hospitals and centralized waste management systems to process. Face masks from hospitals or sick people should be incinerated.
A Special Note on Face Masks
Surgical masks are made from unrecyclable polypropylene fibers, are non-recyclable, and intended to be disposed. It is important to note that clinical use of the masks in hospitals and by the sick has medical waste designation. If facilities exist such masks should be disposed of through hospital waste and or centralized waste facilities.
However, when medical waste disposal is not possible (i.e. in remote areas) and/or where government guidelines permits household disposal of masks (as in Indonesia) the GEA recommends the ecobricking of masks according to the following guidelines:
- Immediately wash the mask with soap and water or alcohol as per WHO hand washing guidelines
- Dry the cleaned mask by hanging in the sun to dry, or in a pillowcase in a warm room.
- Once dry, wash your hands, and cut the mask into several pieces
- Pack into a bottle, mixing with other plastics, as per the Covid-19 Enhanced Ecobricking Guidelines above.
Post-Pandemic Green Building
Ecobricks are ideal for earth building. Once the Covid-19 pandemic period is over, we’ll be able to use all our ecobrick for green space and garden projects to further increase our home and community resiliency. The GoBrik app is specifically design to coordinate ecobrick community projects. Dream up your vision today for what you will build with your ecobricks and create the project on GoBrik so that members of your community can contribute their ecobricks. Set the number of ecobricks required so that your friends and neighbours can work towards this goal. When all is clear and you goal is met, you can update the project to call in all the allocated ecobricks.
Courses and Webinars
Due to the large public concern over plastic during the CoVid-19 perio, the GEA is prioritizing the release of Enhanced Ecobricking methods. To do so, we’ve opened all our international online courses up for by-donation registration and discounted all our Indonesian Courses. Please see our complete course listing on GoBrik.com/#courses which includes:
- A Webinar Presentation of the GEA Whitepaper that surveys the most recent research on SARS-Cov-2 and single use plastic, and the conjectures and conclusions of the GEA for ecobricking during the Covid-19 period.
- Single session Introduction to Ecobrick courses that cover the theory and techniques of ecobricking and adaptions for the CoVid-19 period.
- Four session, Ecobrick Training of Trainer Course that lead to GEA Trainer certification
- Four session training course that introduces the theory and techniques of Earth and Ecobrick Building and developing earth modules applications for the CoVId-19 period.
To learn more about the science behind these recommendations, please see the GEA white paper for a full accounting of the science behind the CoVid -19 Enhanced Ecobricking Guidelines: “Preventing the Spread of SARS-CoV-2 on Single Use Plastics through Enhanced Ecobricking”
To learn more about how to ecobrick, please see our official ten step guide.
For ourses that will cover Enhanced Ecobricking during the CoVid-19 period, please see our GEA Course listing:
Check out our ecobrick courses on GoBrik.com that we’re making available to introduce ecobricks and enhanced ecobricking.
This site and our Ecobrick Guides have been crafted by the Global Ecobrick Alliance to help you get started ecobricking and to establish best practices for the making and application of ecobricks. Our goal is to empower you and your community with the know-how to make ecobricks and build with them and are the result of years of research, experimentation and trial and error by our trainer network around the world.
Russell and Ani show how they manage and ecobrick their plastic at home during the CoVid-19 period.
Log with a ‘C’
To indicate that you have logged your ecobrick over the Covid-19 period to help flatten the spread and to reduce stress on your city’s waste management, log your ecobrick on GoBrik with a C.
GEA Press Release
To announce the publishing of our CoVid-19 White Paper Report on April 5th, the GEA has released an official press release.
Ecobricks keep plastic & C02 out of the biosphere. Ecobricks raise ecological consciousness. And more!