Turning plastic into bricks and bricks into early childhood education centres
EcoBrick Exchange educates local communities on the making of simple, reusable building bricks – done by filling PET bottles with rubbish – to construct early childhood centres and other community buildings. The enterprise engages with local businesses, schools and NGOs to train participants, offering second hand household items and clothing in exchange for bricks.
EcoBrick Exchange has developed a construction technique that is at least 20% cheaper than standard construction, and when the enterprise works with communities on new projects, it earns a 50% commission on any savings achieved above the initial 20%.
EcoBrick Exchange combines green construction with community participation and environmental education. Local residents benefit from exchanging bricks for used household goods or discounts at stores, while reducing household waste and cleaning up streets.
Wildlands assists EcoBrick Exchange with the organising and quality management of bricks, as well as collection, and training the community on brick usage.
Masifunde provides EcoBrick Exchange with a platform to test ideas and offers space and student assistants.
Greencycle collects bricks and assists with their transportation.
Penguins Play and Learn Centre is the first recipient township preschool which will receive a new building built from EcoBrick materials.
The SAB Foundation awarded the EcoBrick Exchange with a Social Innovation Award, and has provided funding and advice.
The 2015 SEED Awards in South Africa are largely supported by the European Union, which is made up of 28 Member States who have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies.
The 2015 SEED Awards in South Africa is supported by Hisense.