In March 2019, FSL-India’s volunteers at the Centre for Experiential Living, Kundapur started to build an Eco Bench.
Plastic was collected from nearby shops and local people in order to reuse it for the Eco Bricks. The Eco Brick is a plastic bottle filled with around 300 grams of plastic garbage (milk/snacks packets, plastic bags, chips/candy and cookie wrappers, etc), in order to be strong and solid as a brick.
The process of filling the Eco Bricks started with the work of the previous volunteers, as well as with the help of the students from FSL-India’s Winter Camp. Indeed, with a lot of help and contribution, at FSL-India’s CEL, more than 100 Eco bricks have been stored from last year.
So, the present CEL volunteers refilled the remaining plastic bottles with plastic trash, in order to create an additional 45 eco bricks, to complete the Eco Bench.
To start the construction of the Eco Bench, FSL-India got some clay from the nearby Tile Factory. When the clay was wet enough to start using it, the volunteers started to mix it together with water and paddy bran (rice husks), to create a good and right mixture to hold the Eco Bricks together.
The basis of the bench was cement and on the top of it, the volunteers started to put the bottles in the shape of a half-moon. Every layer of eco bricks needed a lot of clay, so the volunteers were separated into 2 groups: one group built the bench and the other one mixed and stamped the clay together. The surface of the clay was also plastered in order to create a smooth layer. Cement was added to the surface, to protect the Eco Bench from the heavy rain.
Finally, the construction of the Eco Brick Bench was completed with more than 140 plastic bottles.
FSL-India’s CEL is still storing plastic waste in order to promote the construction of other benches. The Eco Brick system is also shown to the children during the camps and at schools, as well as to the locals and to the people visiting the Centre, in order to create awareness for better reuse and recycling of plastic waste. FSL-India’s aim is to build more new Eco models in the surrounding areas with the help of the children and locals, also in the Eco bricks filling process.