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[Y-SPACE] Ecobricking: A Simple Method with a Big Impact

by Maria Nicole Dominique Dimayacyac

Have you ever wondered about taking personal responsibility for the plastics you use and consume every day? Tried not to use plastics, but it is just everywhere!

The Philippines is the third-largest contributor to ocean plastic pollution. Filipinos prefer to use plastics every day, particularly single-use plastics used in packaging to buy basic commodities in small quantities. That is why I decided to be a lowkey hero of Mother Earth.

My family has been doing ecobricks since 2015, with our number one plastic rule in the house: "plastic mo, pasok mo!" If there is one thing that irritates my mom, it is putting plastics in the trash can – where they should not be. So, wherever I go, I bring my plastic trash with me and never throw it away until I get home. They say that when you throw something away, it never goes away, it always ends up somewhere – and for us, that somewhere is in our ecobrick.

But what exactly is an ecobrick? Ecobrick is a plastic bottle stuffed with clean and dry used non-biodegradable materials like sachets, packaging, straws, and plastic bags. These are meant to be made as hollow blocks for furniture, schools, and any other establishments – making use of the residual plastic wastes that have no value and are not easily recyclable.

Ecobricking is one thing that helped my family’s conscience in using so many plastics before without being responsible for where they end up. However, it is more than just cleaning your conscience, it is also about fulfilling your social responsibility to the environment. After all, ecobricking is an environmental effort that you can just do in the comforts of your home. Yes, it may take so much time depending on how much plastic waste you have, but who is counting? We are saving Mother Earth even in our little ways.

Doing ecobricks surprised me so much. It showed our family how much plastic we consume every day. Comparing our trash cans before and after we learned about ecobricks was eye-opening. I remembered taking out the garbage every night, full of our trash in just one day. But when we started ecobricking, I have noticed that our trash takes 2-3 days to be collected. Since then, I have become mindful of how much plastic our family consumes daily. TONS.

However, we must not fall into the “I can always put it in an ecobrick” mentality. An ecobrick should never be an excuse to use more plastic. Not caring about consuming more plastics just because they can be stuffed in ecobricks is just a stop-gap solution. Ecobricking intends to show people how much trash one person can produce in a day. If it only takes you three days to fill a bottle the first time, challenge yourself to cut down and take twice as long for the next one, and then twice as long again. REFUSE single-use plastic whenever you can, as much as you can, and encourage others to do the same.

Yes, it is easier to simply throw away your plastic trash, but being a hero for the environment is rewarding. There is a lot to be done to help our planet survive, and your excuse for not doing something is no longer valid.

Maria Nicole Dominique “Nikki” Dimayacyac, 21, is a small girl with big dreams. She is a Journalism student at Cavite State University and a consistent Dean's lister who prefers feature writing over straight news writing.

YSPACE is a platform open for young writers to contribute their worth-sharing thoughts and stories to the world. It is a space for young people and by the young people which aims to promote a strong sense of empowerment and inspiration to young Filipinos.

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