Photo Credit: ecobricks.org
By ACNS staff with reporting by Peter Balocnit, Philippine Information Agency
Parishioners in the Philippines are tackling the problem of garbage by turning rubbish into ecobricks and using them to build churches.
Every family in the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Luzon has been told by Bishop Renato Abibco to pack 1.5 litre fruit juice containers with non-biodegradable waste to create ecobricks.
Ecobricks are containers, traditionally large drinks bottles, packed tightly with non-biodegradable material such as Styrofoam, plastic, or foam. All the content is packed in tightly using a bamboo stick.
They are laid horizontally in, and covered by, cob mortar, which is made by mixing clay, sand and straw. The result is three almost three times as thick as regular cement block walls and solid. Protected from UV rays the bricks are said to be able to last as long as 200-300 years.
“This environment-friendly way of processing garbage will not only help in waste management but will also recycle garbage for noble purposes like using it to build worship centers,” Bishop Abibico said.
This project was one of the agreements reached during a recent convention where Church members considered how to protect the physical person as well as promote spiritual wellbeing and salvation.
The practice of recycling biodegradable waste and making them into ecobricks is popular in schools in the Philippines which are used mostly as decorative materials and for landscaping.
It has also being trialled in such countries as South Africa (http://ecobrickexchange.wix.com/ecobrickexchange) and Australia.
Learn more about ecobricks by downloading the Vision Ecobrick Guide at http://www.ecobricks.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Vision-EcoBrick-Guide-2.1.pdf