How do you feel about them as a solution to plastic waste?
I struggle with our household plastic waste, as I have family members who just don’t care and bring plastic in willy-nilly. I am guilty too, sometimes. I also have old trash dumps on my land full of low-quality stuff that I don’t think recycling centers would ever take.
I tend to find building projects with ecobricks, glass bottle walls, etc. a little...tacky, I guess; although I might think they look cool in somebody else’s funky earthship in the desert or whatever, I have more of a traditional aesthetic and don’t like to look at synthetic materials or obviously reused stuff all the time. I am also something of a minimalist, so turning trash into decorative knick-knacks doesn’t appeal to me much.
I am curious about what folks think of the merits of ecobricks versus other recycling/repurposing methods, including but not limited to industrial/municipal recycling, as well as what you find to do with the things once you’ve made them.
I always wonder what happens when the structure has run its life-span--or the next owner of the property doesn't like it and tears it down. Then you will have lots of bits of degrading plastic mixed into the earth. It seems to me it would be better to keep recycling plastic until a bio-remediation solution is found.
As a method of crowdsourced litter cleanup, and a sequestering of the plastic, it may be a help?
I’m not convinced that it has any value as a building material, other than voids it makes conserving the materials it is set into. Our transfer station has some concrete blocks for building bunkers for bulk materials and for traffic control. A few are “trashcrete” which has ground plastic aggregate. They are flaking apart, since the plastic doesn’t add anything to the cohesion of the concrete.
So now there’s all these little bits loose on the ground.
The ecobrick method is calling for cutting things up small enough to fit in the mouth of a bottle. Now when that bottle breaks, the bits are all over. And what of identification of plastic type for recycling?
I think the litter cleanup, as an education/publicity campaign to alert the public of how bad the problem is, and that the ONLY SOLUTION is to reduce or quit polluting with plastics is better than all the dreams of “using” the waste for something like these “bricks”.
Enacting a plastic bag or water bottle ban is WAY better than NEEDING litter cleanups, OR “creating” something with the garbage. I think these projects have a perverse enabling effect... “see what they built! It’s so nice to have something to do with all our plastic crap! *pats on backs* yay! We did it!!”