Congratulations to Hampstead Norreys Community Shop and Café for winning a national award!
The competition was organised by The Plunkett Foundation, who support community businesses across the UK, and first prize in the category ‘Diversifying to make a difference’ was given to Hampstead Norreys for their determination to reduce the amount of plastic in the shop and café.
Particular mention was made of the shop’s eco-bricking initiative whereby people fill plastic bottles with clean and dry single-use plastic that can’t otherwise be recycled (see photo above). The bottles are then used as bricks – the shop is working with local schools to use the bricks to build eco-benches in their playgrounds.
Our eco-bricks will be used to make an eco bench we are going to make for the school playground – it will be covered in cob to protect the bricks from the sunlight. (The photo of the bench below is courtesy of www.ecobricks.org.)
A lot of eco-bricks are needed, so why not think about helping and reducing the plastic you send to landfill? If you would like to make eco-bricks to contribute to our project please email [email protected]
How to Make Eco-Bricks
- Start with a small plastic bottle – a 500 ml bottle is much easier than a big bottle;
- Make sure the bottle and the plastic are clean and dry, else the brick will go mouldy;
- Cut the single-use plastic into smaller pieces – the smaller the pieces the easier it is to get to the target weight. Suggested approximate sizes: 5cm by 4cm rectangles for soft plastic bags, 2cm by 1cm for hard plastic;
- Use a pushing stick, such as a wooden spoon, to push the plastic into the bottle – you need to press hard and make sure there are no air gaps since the bottle will be used as a brick;
- To be an eco-brick it must reach at least the minimum weight: 167 grams for a 500ml bottle, 333 grams for a 1 litre bottle, 500 grams for a 1.5 litre bottle.
More information, and helpful videos detailing the above, please see www.ecobricks.org