FAQ – “Where to drop-off my ecobricks?”
Answer by: Russell Maier Date: April 11th, 2018
Thanks for this question! It is actually, one of the most common questions we get on Ecobricks.org and has a three part answer that at first might seem a little confusing…
- Please don’t drop off your ecobricks
- Yes, please drop your ecobricks off.
- It’s not about the ecobrick.
So first, there is absolutely no need to drop your ecobricks off.
You see…. ecobricks are awesome!
You can build all sorts of cool things with them. Whether you live in a palace, an apartment, or a teepee, you can put your ecobricks to good use. Over the last decade, people all around the world have been developing all sorts of applications for ecobricks: from making indoor furniture, to LEGO, to parks, to structures. Personally, all the chairs in my home are made from ecobricks. My work desk is made from ecobricks with a glass top. Oh… and every morning, I go out under the tree to have a coffee on my garden bench– which is made from… you guessed it… ecobricks!
It’s simple to make something practical. You only need 12 ecobricks to make your first stool! Please check out the page www.ecobricks.org/build to get some ideas.
Secondly, that said, when you get going ecobricking you will discover that making ecobricks is hard work. For those of us who don’t consume that much plastic in the first place, you’ll be hard pressed to finish that first 12 bottle ecobrick stool in several months! (I make about one ecobrick a month now).
That’s where your friends and neighbours come in. Ecobricks are ideal for community collaborations. For parks and benches, you’ll need hundreds of ecobricks!
And yes… a place to drop them off.
So for community project drop-offs we encourage you to sign up to our GoBrik app. Community projects are all around the world. GoBrik helps you connect your personal ecobricking with that of your community. In fact, it helps streamline the collaboration and drop off process! In GoBrik you can see an interactive map of the communities around the world that are ecobricking, donating, and requesting ecobricks.
Third, as you consider these two options, I would encourage you to think about the shift in thinking that they both represent. When you first wrote your question, you were still thinking about your plastic as something you didn’t want in your home– something ugly, useless, and well… trash.
Ecobricking isn’t really about packing bottles full of plastic. Rather, ecobricking is about a fundamental shift in how we look at our ‘trash’ plastic. It’s about transcending the concept of ‘trash’ all together. You see, when we label plastic ‘trash’, we are condemning it to a fate in dumpsites and incinerators and eventually the air and ocean. When we see our plastic as… well, plastic, then we instead take care of it (keep it dry and clean, and pack it into a bottle). In this way, we can make use of all the good properties of plastic (i.e. it lasts a long time!), rather than have the bad properties of plastic (i.e. it’s an environmental toxin) haunt us and future generations.
Myself and my fellow GEA trainers, have observed over and over again that ecobricks that are dropped off tend to be of poor quality (under the minimum density of 0.33g/ml). It is almost impossible to fix a poor ecobrick, and there is very little one can do with it. In contrast, we observe that when people make ecobricks for themselves or their community, the ecobricks are made with attention and love. Not only are they of good quality — but they are pretty sexy looking too!
At the heart of it, ecobricking is about caring for and taking personal responsibility for our own plastic– as opposed to the old model of dropping our trash in another place or on other people. By putting our own plastic to use, by working together with our community on collaborative projects, we can keep the plastic out of the biosphere and move on to a healthy harmony with the cycles of life around us.
Thanks again for your question. I look forward to see what you do with your plastic!
You can read a more in depth essay of mine on this topic: Plastic, I Love You