You can drop off your Ecobricks at our collection point in Santa Fe!

Whatever is an Ecobrick?

cropped-upcycle-santa-cover1.jpgIt is a Containment and Compression Device: An Eco Brick is a plastic bottle stuffed full of the inorganic waste materials that persist for hundreds of thousands of years in the environment and eventually find their way back to us via the food chain.

SA3 2 sIt is a Reusable Building Material. An Eco Brick is also a building material that can make modular furniture, garden spaces or even to insulate full scale buildings such as schools and houses. Plastics contained and utilized in this way are removed and “upcycled” from the harmful “downcycles” that poison all of life.

Why should I Ecobrick my plastic “waste”?

picture3.jpgIt is Accessible and Effective. Making Ecobricks is one of the easiest ways to take care of the non-biodegradable materials that otherwise might pollute the environment. All that is needed to make an Ecobrick is a stick and a plastic bottle. It is therefore one of the cheapest systems of waste management on Earth, available to anyone anywhere plastics are used and where a stick or bar of some sort can be found.

Final Incineration Eater-07Current Plastic Waste Management is More of Less Harmful. Landfill, incineration and even many recycling practices are detrimental to living systems. All dumping sites will eventually leak into groundwater, and burning produces extremely toxic chemicals and ash. Recycling is only available for certain materials in certain places (there are no plastics recycling facilities in the state of New Mexico) and recycled products tend to be not only of a lesser quality but off-gas and leach dangerous chemicals at a greater rate.

It Builds Community Resilience. Do you really know what happens to the plastics that you send to recycled? It is inherently difficult to know, because they are usually sent hundreds if not thousands of miles away to industrial centers to be processed. When people Ecobrick their plastics, they choose to retain them in a local context, deal with them responsibly, and produce a product of value, rather than assume that for-profit businesses will do the right thing for people or planet.

Ecobricks bring people together. They take a long time to stuff and building projects may require many hundreds to thousands of them to be completed. Thus, Ecobrick building projects tend to require the combined efforts of a community, school or workplace.

SA3 5 sHow do I make an Ecobrick?

Take a Plastic Bottle – Stuff it Full of “Trash”. All that is needed to make an Ecobrick is a plastic bottle or container of some sort (including paper / laminate milk cartons) and a stick to stuff and compress a whole bunch of random everyday plastic materials inside of it.

To start an Ecobrick, take a plastic bottle, rinse it out and leave it to dry. Use a stick to stuff it layer by layer with all of the plastics, non-biodegradables, and synthetics that would otherwise be thrown into a waste bin and eventually the Earth.

Plastic Bottle Brick small

Make sure each Ecobrick is completely free of wet / food / organic materials that should rather be composted to create new soil. Completed Ecobricks should be so densely stuffed that one can stand on top of them without deforming them too much.

What do I do with the Ecobricks that I make?

Fully completed and stuffed Ecobricks may be dropped off at our collection bin located at our home office, 917 Don Juan Street.  We will use the collected Ecobricks for future building projects right here in New Mexico. Want to plan a building project using Ecobricks?  Awesome!  Send us an email at

Willard Eco Brick s

Where can I find out more about Ecobricks?

SA2 4 – Home of the Vision Ecobricks Guide – The Eco Brick Exchange in Port Elizabeth, South Africa – Bottle School Project in Guatemala – Trash to Treasure Festivals in South Africa

8 thoughts on “INTO ECOBRICKS

  1. Martha Baker

    I want to make ecobricks. However, I’m still not sure how clean all plastics must be. Candy wrappers, bags that hold chips etc have food parts still on them. Do they all need to be washed and dried?

  2. Tiffany

    I am curious as to what types of waste can be inserted into the ecobrick. Could I cut up smaller water bottles for the inside as well? I have a TON of recycling that could fill a few 500ml bottles.

    • upcycleman

      Hi there Tiffany! Yes you can cut up any type of hard plastics and put them into an ecobrick. We recommend layering hard plastics with soft plastics to maintain a high level of compaction of the plastics, and of course always using clean and dry plastics only.

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