Sammy is constructed of 154, mostly 2 litre ecobricks, covered in the traditional building material cob, made from clay, sand and straw. The cob protects the plastic from sunlight exposure, which would otherwise degrade it and break it down into microplastic. With all the plastic crammed into these bottles, Sammy has diverted almost 90kg of plastic from landfill and waterways.
Project Sammy was an initiative led by Hampstead Norreys Community Shop Sustainability Group (HNCS SG), who were seeking solutions to dispose of the unrecyclable plastic entering the shop.
Members from this group led ecobrick-making workshops and knowledge sharing sessions at schools, sustainable markets and fairs around the area.
Because there really is more to building an ecobrick than meets the eye. Plastic must be thoroughly washed and dried before being cut into small pieces and packed so tightly into a plastic bottle that it feels solid to stand on.
Ecobricks came in from Hampstead Norreys and The Ilsleys Primary Schools, surrounding communities and, as the word spread through local events and social media, plastic bricks were received from as far afield as Cardiff and Surrey.
How to Get Involved
There are still enough ecobricks remaining to build another 10 Sammys and more coming in by the day. The Ilsleys School will be next in line to receive an ecobrick bench, with several other schools in the locality keen to get a structure underway.
The HNCS SG is committed to supporting schools interested in starting an ecobrick project and can contribute by way of workshops, donating a proportion of bricks to the cause and providing construction advice.
There is a cost to these plastic structures to cover diggers, rubble for the base and construction materials.
If you know of a local business keen to get involved with a community-led, education-centric, sustainability project such as this, ask them to get in touch with the HNCS SG at firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s TV came along to meet Sammy. You can see their coverage here: