Introducing a Solution for Ocean Plastics...

The Ocean Ecobrick!


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Introducing the Ocean Ecobrick

A wall made with thousands of ecobricks packed with ocean plastic in Gili Trawangan, Indonesia.

The Ocean Ecobrick is a new class of ecobrick especially designed for plastics found on beaches, rivers and in the ocean.  These plastics tend to be large, chunky, dirty, and wet and are not suited to make a regular ecobrick.  The Ocean Ecobrick technique enables these plastics to be easily transformed into a practical, useful, and reusable building block.

Making an Ocean Ecobrick
Ocean Ecobrick Making Instructions

Click to enlarge instructions

Making an Ocean Ecobrick (OEB) is straightforward-- no special tools, machines or skills are required.  An OEB is essential two bottles, cut, packed with plastic, then sealed bottom to bottom. By cutting a bottle’s top off, one creates a wide opening for packing the chunky, large and solid plastics found on the beach.

For the lining of the bottom and the top of the OEB we use the ‘silver’ plastic from chip wrappers and other junk food.  This aluminium oxide plastic reflects sunlight, and is one of the slowest plastics to photo-degrade.

A simple bamboo stick is then used to pack the bottle as full and as solid as possible of ocean plastic. Once the bottom is 80% complete, the top is silvered, then packed 30% full.  Packing anymore than this will make it difficult to join the top and bottom together later.

Sealing an Ocean Ecobrick
How to seal an ocean ecobrick

Click to enlarge instructions

An Ocean Ecobrick is sealed shut by pressing together and twisting tight the top and bottom. An Ocean Ecobrick is unlike a regular ecobrick as it is not sealed air-tight.

This is important as OEBs are made from wet and soiled plastic that will eventually generate methane. The lack of a seal between the two cut bottles, allows gas to escape, avoiding the dangers of gas accumulation (this is why normal ecobricks are made with clean and dry plastic).


Ocean Ecobicks can then be used for outdoor Earth and ecobrick constructions, such as green spaces, or even walls and structures . The silver top and the bottoms, can be left  exposed to help reduce the thermal absorption of the walls.  See the Vision Ecobrick Construction Guide for details on Earth Ecobrick building.  See our Earth and Ecobrick building page, to learn how to put OEBs to use in the same way as regular ecobricks, to build an outdoor garden bench.
Unlike traditional Ecobricks, OEB’s generate waste in their making. Bottles must be cut, and the bottle tops and caps are left over. Note that even though cut, the tops and caps can still be recycled.  PET and HDPE are the most sought after plastics. In most South East Asian countries these will be collected by recyclers.

Compared to regular ecobricks, Ocean Ecobricks are more wasteful, fragile, and much less elegant than regular Ecobricks. Most likely, the plastics inside will be dirty and messy.  They are not suited for making modules or lego-- only for cob or Pura Vida Atlan construction.  Nonetheless, Ocean Ecobricks remain cradle to cradle.  Ocean Ecobricks, as they use ocean waste plastic do not generate consciousness like regular Ecobricks-- which are dedicated to transforming one’s own personal waste.

Ocean Ecobricks are therefore ideal only in the circumstances of shore line communities that are overloaded with plastic.

The Development Continues

A wall made with thousands of ecobricks packed with ocean plastic in Gili Aire, Indonesia.

The development and design of the Ocean Ecobrick is still underway.  See the feed below of OEBs being made around the world.  Stay posted!

Ocean Ecobricks Feed

A feed of Ocean Ecobricks as logged on GoBrik

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The OEB is a simple solution for the dirty, chunky, non-bios that are often found on the beach or in the ocean. The Ocean Ecobrick was first launched on the island of Santen, in East Java, Indonesia by the GEA team.



An Introduction to Bottle Building

For a comprehensive introduction to the the theory and techniques of bottle building, download our free, open source construction guide.

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Plastic Can Become Poison

Through sun and water exposure, plastic breaks down into environmental toxins and microplastics.  Packing it into an ecobrick secures it from poisoning the biosphere. 

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