As the human population grows, so does plastic pollution and its devastating effects on the environment around us.
According to Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), a marine conservation and campaigning charity based in the United Kingdom, plastic pollution does not only appear in landfills. In fact, the issue of plastic pollution is so problematic, that SAS explains approximately 8 million pieces of plastic find their way into the ocean every day.
Furthermore, SAS explains there are approximately 5.25 trillion macro and microplastic pieces floating in the open ocean. Weighing up to 269,000 tonnes.
As plastic wreaks havoc both on land and in the oceans, what can we as a society do to cut down plastic pollution?
Amajuba School has come up with a unique initiative which sees plastic going to good use. An initiative which will keep both the environment clean and assist the less fortunate with housing.
For the past two months, children from the junior phase have been collecting empty 2litre bottles and other plastic waste. Plastic waste which will become EcoBricks.
An EcoBrick is a plastic bottle packed tightly with clean and dry, non-biodegradable waste. These bottles can then be used as building materials to create insulative structures and colourful furniture.
“We noticed our immediate environment was dirty, with certain people not using available dustbins,” says Grade R teacher, Mariaan Moore. Learning about EcoBricks from her aunty, Mariaan brought the idea to the school.
Learners were encouraged to collect as much plastic waste as possible. The class which brought in the most would be able to enjoy a milkshake at Spur.
“It has been amazing to see the children getting so involved, working together and going out of their way to collect plastic,” Mariaan says.
Mariaan explains that when creating an EcoBrick, it is important to fill the bottles with non-biodegradable products to ensure the bottles are not damaged when creating the structure.
“The nice thing is, you can fill the plastic bottles with certain colour plastics and not have to paint your house,” she smiles.
Currently, Mariaan and fellow educator, Anèl van Rooyen, are both now looking for organisations and individuals to donate their EcoBricks too.
With over 100kg of plastic waste collected, Amajuba School is well on its way to cleaning up the environment.
The winning class is Grade 1 A, collecting 27.69kg, followed by Grade 2 A in second place with 23.66k. Grade R E takes third place with 22.22kg and Grade R A comes in at fourth place with 15.81kg.
Well done to all the children who took part in the initiative and doing your part in creating a greener environment.