Nature knows no waste

By Wisaal Osman, 10th October 2018

Milnerton beach completely polluted by plastic waste washed up by the ocean. Photo © Erlo Brown | Shutterstock

This week, 8-12 October, we celebrate National Marine Week! As humans, we are integrally linked to the Ocean… It is a place of beauty, recreation and a source of livelihood for many South Africans.

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) is a signatory and participant in various global programmes that have recognised land-based litter as one of the key sources of pollution in marine ecosystem. We must find ways to address the scourge of plastic litter along the coast and in our ocean!

One thing YOU can do – start an EcoBrick. An EcoBrick is a plastic bottle stuffed solid with non-biological waste to create a reusable building block.

Image © Ecobrick Exchange

How to make an EcoBrick:

  • Collect clean and dry plastic waste
  • Compress the waste into a plastic 2L bottle with a stick (Tip: cut up the big plastics so that they fit through the bottle opening)
  • Pack tightly throughout the process to ensure that it is un-squishable
  • Squeeze with one hand to measure if it’s full enough. (if you can squish it, it’s not ready)
  • Celebrate! Your EcoBrick is ready to be built with.

We have begun making eco-bricks with the plastic we are unable to recycle at the Shark Education Centre. Photo Wisaal Osman | Save Our Seas Foundation

There are a number of drop-off locations across South Africa where you can take your completed EcoBricks:

Faithful-to-Nature, Muizenberg
Greenpop, Woodstock
Health Connection, Fish Hoek
Long Beach Mall, Noordhoek
MFM Radio, Stellenbosch
Pick n Pay Supermarkets, Constantia & Tygervalley
Salt, Kalk Bay
Settlers High School, Bellville


An outdoor, open-air shower room wall, handmade using ecobricks. Photo © Jen Watson | Shutterstock

What can be built with EcoBricks?

Play structures for children
Raised beds for gardens
Benches for parks and gardens
For more info about EcoBricks and the various building projects, contact EcoBrick Exchange or WasteED.

Remember that a litter-free land leads to a litter-free ocean!