Hampstead Norreys Community Shop’s Eco-Brick Initiative

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.

Eco-Bricks

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 hncshop@yahoo.co.uk

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

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