Introducing a Solution for Ocean Plastics...
The Ocean Ecobrick!
Introducing the Ocean Ecobrick
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
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
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 cob construction, 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 cob 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
The development and design of the Ocean Ecobrick is still underway. See the feed below of OEBs being made around the world. Stay posted!
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[fbbutton] The community of Kampung Anak Negeri and Lutfi Noor Farida are making ecobricks to go zero waste and build cool stuff. Lutfi used a 600ml Aqua bottle to pack 281g of beach plastic to make her number 3 ecobrick. Based in the city of Tuban, Jawa Timur they...read more
[fbbutton] The community of and Lusi Ana are making ecobricks to go zero waste and build cool stuff. Lusi used a 600ml Aqua bottle to pack 254g of home plastic to make her number 5 ecobrick. Based in the city of Tuban, Jawa Timur they are working hard to keep...read more
[fbbutton] The community of Komunitas Anak Negeri and Setio Wawan are making ecobricks to go zero waste and build cool stuff. Setio used a 600ml Aqua bottle to pack 277g of beach plastic to make his number 3 ecobrick. Based in the city of Tuban, Jawa Timur they are...read more
[fbbutton] The community of SMKN Widang and Kristiana are making ecobricks to go zero waste and build cool stuff. Kristiana used a 600ml Aqua bottle to pack 268g of home plastic to make her number 3 ecobrick. Based in the city of Tuban, Jawa Timur they are working...read more
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.