Butterflies

Make Bottle Bricks

Because I and, to a lesser extent, David Attenborough say so.

Like most of you, when I first saw WALL-E I assumed it was a documentary and was relieved to find we had at last discovered a solution to the madness of short-term landfillery. However, on attempting to contact and marry EVA, Pixar security guards informed me not just that I would be charged with breach of the peace but also that the film was a work of speculative fiction. There remains, therefore, much to be done about our culture of single-use disposability and my love life.

Plastic is a particular scourge, something I’ve been banging on about for 15 years but you only bothered with once David Attenborough made you sad about a dolphin stubbing its toe on a Coke bottle, perhaps because of his greater wisdom, knowledge, experience, qualifications, credibility and global audience. Thanks to me and David people seem to be getting wise to the horrors of single-use plastic, fighting hard against plastic carrier bags and agreeing plastic straws suck. But still we wrap a ton of stuff in non-recyclable plastic to keep it fresh, the kind of shit that takes about 400 years – or two Trump presidencies – to biodegrade. While engineerists, scienticians and supply chainers work on biodegradable alternatives – and they’re doable – we need to do something with the plastic that’s knocking about already and get me back on Tinder.

Bottle bricks, or eco-bricks, are a thing I heard about 40 minutes ago and am now fully obsessed with. It’s possible your best friend David Attenborough’s already told you but the idea is we gather up single-use, non-recyclable plastics – yer crisp packets, yer chocolate wrappers, yer salad bags, yer dental floss – and pack them tightly into plastic bottles. When crammed to the right kind of density they become rock hard and can be used as building material for a whole bunch of stuff: hipster planters, hipster chairs, even whole goddamn buildings.

They’re not perfect, of course. The bottles eventually become a bitch to recycle if they’re covered in concrete as mortar, and they only postpone the problem of how we finally dispose of single-use plastics. But they’re better than chucking it all straight in the bin and can be at least a part of the bigger solution we need. They can turn single-use plastic into double-use plastic while we’re constructing our first garbage robot. Of course, as Zeroes we avoid buying plastic bottles so may encounter a shortage of eco-brick receptacles. Happily, thanks to littering bastards we can look in any park, beach or seal’s oesophagus to find discarded bottles ready for reuse.

Once you’ve stuffed your bottles good and tight you can drop them off at your nearest collection point – ecobricks.org will help you there – and encourage your local school, nursery and community groups to get stuck in and maybe tell their sisters I’m back on the market. We could go the whole rest of our lives never sending any plastic to any landfills anywhere ever again. Get on it!

Make bottle bricks!

We can build stuff

Save the goddamn world

Photo credit: The Zero

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