Veterinary clinic’s soft plastic waste gets new life, brick by brick

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Helen Morris, Kristy Seddon and Keshia Knight from White Cross Vets Liverpool – Gateacre work on their ecobricks.
Helen Morris, Kristy Seddon and Keshia Knight from White Cross Vets Liverpool – Gateacre work on making ecobricks.

A British veterinary clinic is leading the way to re-use the massive amounts of plastic that it consumes, with staff creating environmentally friendly building blocks known as “Ecobricks”.

The team at White Cross Vets Liverpool – Gateacre are collecting their non-recyclable plastics, such as syringe packets and delivery materials, to create ecobricks. Ecobricks are made by stuffing plastic bottles with soft plastics and other non-biological un-recyclables such as styrofoam, wires, and small batteries. The resulting ecobricks are used to make modular furniture, garden spaces, walls, and shelving.

“In our industry, almost everything comes packed in unrecyclable plastics – from small syringe packets through to large delivery bags and the plastic on the backs of patient labels, which we print hundreds of every day,” vet nurse Helen Morris told Vet Times.

“As a result, we decided to look at how we may be able to put it to good use, rather than simply putting it in the bin, and came across ecobricks.

“By taking the time to fill the bottles with plastic, we can significantly reduce the waste we send to landfill, and cut the amount of plastic that ends up littering the planet and, ultimately, finds its way into the sea.”

Ecobricks can be connected using tire bands, silicone, cob, and cement.

The grassroots, people powered, Ecobrick movement is spreading around the world, allowing people to take personal responsibility for their plastic and put it to use locally.

Some 99% of ecobricks are being used for small home, school and community creations. The movement’s focus is on tiny applications, such as furniture models, Lego, and especially gardens.

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