Ecobricks: Reducing Plastic Waste and Preserving Environment – Caritas Indonesia – KARINA

Ecobricks: Reducing Plastic Waste and Preserving Environment


Wednesday, August 10, 2016, KARINA welcomed Ani Himawati and Russell Maier. Both of them are well known as “ecobricks” activists. Through the ecobricks movement, they invite all people to be actively preserving the environment by reducing plastic waste. As part of advocacy and education movement, Ani and Russel invite people to reuse and recycle plastic waste in their environment and also transform it into something useful.

The existence of plastic waste on earth is already reaching the point where it is should be concerned. Besides the fact that plastic is hard to be devoured by soil, plastic waste that was burned will cause a toxic air pollution for the living being. Even worse, the plastic waste that is scattered around the world is now polluting the Antarctic sea. To overcome the problems, ecobricks becomes one of the solutions for it.

Russell Maier dan Ani Himawati (atas) memberikan penjelasan kepada KARINA (foto: Y. Baskoro)
Russell Maier and Ani Himawati explained the ecobricks concept to KARINA (Photo: Y. Baskoro).

In their point of views, Russel and Ani never consider plastic waste from packaging products as a “trash”. However, they called it “plastic” or a raw material for “bricks”. The basic principle of making the plastic bricks is by inserting and compressing plastic wastes into the plastic bottle. Then, these plastic bricks will be arranged and glued by bamboo fiber, sand, and clay to be the wall of a building.

This activity encourages the existence of community teamwork that involves all members from a small group in the neighborhood to a large group of citizen association, village, city, and school. For instance, the city government of Yogyakarta adopts ecobricks as a basic government program to involve people in recycling and reusing the plastic waste from their environment. Approximately there are six thousand ecobricks made from five tons of plastic waste which are collected and managed by community in 4 months during the ecobricks workshop in Yogyakarta.

Gerakan ecobricks di Jogja (Foto:
Ecobricks movement at Yogyakarta City (Foto:

The word “eco” was placed in front of the word “bricks” to show that this movement has a purpose of preserving the environment. This “eco” concept is not only environmentally friendly but also economically friendly. People can make ecobricks from their unused items in their household as a material to build a building wall or even furniture (table, chair, couch, etc.). With cradle-to-cradle construction, the building made from ecobricks structure can be taken apart and rebuilt to be the desired shape.

The more people join this movement, the greater result will be seen. It is because every ecobricks will be labeled with a serial number and color category. Every person who makes ecobricks also has an ID to record and label his/her products. All information can be uploaded and recorded at This application provides the information about the production of ecobricks, its location, its building constructions technic, etc. Moreover, by downloading the application, people can also participate in some trainings or workshops which are provided by Ani, Russell and teammates. ▪ Th. Kushardini & Y. Baskoro


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