AFTER posting a video about making eco-bricks from plastic bottles and packaging, a Gosport shop is now fielding plastic waste questions from across the world.
Eco Freaks Emporium was opened in Gosport by Chloe Cobb two months ago as an eco-friendly and zero waste shop offering food and home products with no plastic packaging with customers able to bring in their own tubs for loose food items.
Chloe also runs The Trash Cafe, which collects four tonnes of wasted food a week, and decided she needed to do something with its plastic waste.
The 29-year-old said: ‘We are filling a family-sized bin full of plastic packaging a day at The Trash Cafe and I decided we needed a solution.
‘I had heard of eco-bricks before which use 500ml plastic bottles and are filled with plastics that aren’t recycled and are then used for building projects in Asia.’
Chloe’s aim is to collect 1,500 bottles by January 16 to send out to help finish the project which involves the bottles being encased in concrete.
She said: ‘Unfortunately the projects are coming to an end now and building regulations in the UK are much stricter but I want to find a project that these can go to because so many people have started making the eco-bricks.
‘We have had people from Canada and Scotland ask if they can send us their plastic waste which is of course counter-productive but it shows that people do want to help in the war on plastic waste.’
Soft plastic packaging from fruit, bread and parcels can all be packed tightly in to the bottle and hard plastics can be cut up into small bits and also used in the eco-bricks.
Chloe advised milk bottles should not be used due to the handle which gives them a weak structure for building.
She added: ‘I don’t want this to be a permanent solution but at the moment while so much plastic is still not easily recycled it means it can be used effectively.
‘I have local schools who are interested in us giving a talk to their students about the importance of becoming a zero waste world and using the eco-bricks to make indoor furniture so the bricks can still be used.
‘But more importantly we need our councils and government to do more, they have a 25-year plastic plan but that is ridiculous – it needs to be five years because we are killing our planet and need to act fast.’
It comes during The News’ campaign with Final Straw Solent to get the south to ditch single-use plastics.
Co-founder Bianca Carr said: ‘The University of Portsmouth announced earlier this month that it will be scrapping single-use plastics throughout the campus and is just one of hundreds of businesses and organisations that have reduce plastic use.’
For more information on Final Straw Solent visit finalstrawsolent.org