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Christmas tree of ‘eco-bricks’ to prevent plastic pollution

NGO installs eco-friendly tree outside Ethos watch store on Shakespeare Sarani

Subhajoy Roy | Published 24.12.22, 08:15 AM
The Christmas tree made of eco-bricks off Shakespeare Sarani on Friday

The Christmas tree made of eco-bricks off Shakespeare Sarani on Friday

Picture by Pradip Sanyal

A Christmas tree made of eco-bricks, which are plastic bottles filled with single-use and multi-layered plastic bags, was installed off Shakespeare Sarani in south-central Kolkata on Friday.

The plastic bags, which would otherwise have clogged drains or reached garbage dump sites, were put inside the bottles one after another till the bottles could not accommodate any more.


The plastic bags that were used have little or no recycling value.

The eco-bricks can also be used to make furniture like a chair or a bench, said Somini Sen Dua, founder-director of Mrittika Earthy Talks, an NGO that made the tree, which was installed outside the Ethos watch store.

Sen Dua said that the plastics that have been used to make the tree would have consumed 4.2 acres of land if they were placed one after another.

“We worked with students in colleges and schools to make the eco-bricks. While they helped us to make the bricks, we trained them in how to make them. It also helped raise awareness among these students about plastic pollution and the need to prevent it,” she said.

Yogini Bapat, a member of Mrittika who trained people in making eco-bricks, said that there are two benches in Subhas Sarobar that have been made from eco-bricks.

“The bricks have strength. They were taken and cemented together to make the benches,” said Bapat.

The bricks cannot be moulded into any other shape than that of bottles.

“A binder like cement and concrete is then used to make a plane surface like a bench,” she said. Each of the eco-bricks has to be between 330gm and 700gm in weight, said Bapat.

The 6ft-tall Christmas tree that has been installed has been made from 215 ecobricks, which are 1-litre, 500ml and 250ml bottles filled with plastic bags.

Each 1-litre bottle has about 45 plastic bags, the 500ml has about 30 bags and the 250ml bottle has about 15 bags, said Sen Dua.

“The bottle assumes a lot of strength and they do not crackle when filled with plastic bags, which is why they are called bricks,” she said.

Last updated on 24.12.22, 10:27 AM

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