EcoBricks are building bricks made from waste plastic sachets for use in building and construction.
TARGET USERS: Individuals, Businesses, Industry, Government
KEY CONSIDERATIONS: Only available in the Philippines.
Plastic sachets are single-use items that are not often collected or recycled in waste management programs. Rather, many sachets are discarded as rubbish and often find their way to the marine environment.
Green Antz Builders, Inc., produces EcoBricks, which are being used by local governments, schools, and companies in construction projects. Green Antz founder and CEO Rommel B. Benig started the company in 2013 with the idea of using sachets to make EcoBricks. With support from his former employer Nestle Philippines, Green Antz developed the EcoBricks as “aesthetically superior, stronger, and cost-effective” than regular hollow blocks, and at the same time, addressing a solid waste management problem.
Green Antz has partnered with local government units, schools, communities, and even cooperatives to collect sachets and other plastic laminates. In exchange for two and half kilos of plastic sachets, a person can receive one EcoBrick.
Almost 9,000 kilos of plastics were collected by the Culianin Elementary School in Plaridel and these wastes were turned into a clock tower, a pathway, and a school canteen made from EcobBicks.
In the municipality of Plaridel, some services can be paid for by discarded plastic bottles, sachets, and laminates. The collected plastic waste is then used to manufacture EcoBricks that are used to build daycare centers and classrooms.
Other products of Green Antz include eco-pavers or pervious pavers for pathways as well as eco-casts or hollow block-size precast for building fences.
The company’s ecobrick manufacturing hubs are located in Pulilan and Plaridel, Bulacan; Bacoor, Cavite; Teresa, Rizal; and Cebu with partners in Batangas, Catanduanes, Legaspi, Tabaco, Naga, Vigan, and El Nido in Palawan.
Plastic sachet waste is being addressed by other solutions, including Unilever’s new recycling technology called the CreaSolv® Process, developed with the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV in Germany and inspired by an innovation used to recycle TV sets.
CASE STUDY EXAMPLES
Nestle Philippines’ facility in Lipa City used 3,500 EcoBricks to construct a 100-square-meter multi-purpose building in 2015.
Green Antz’s corporate partners also include Aboitiz Power Corp., Republic Cement, Hope in a Bottle, Ayala Land Inc., Pilipinas Shell, and Ten Knots in El Nido.