Plastic bottles

Hi, I’m Tom, a third year student at Leeds Beckett. In this blog, I’ll be talking about the importance of sustainability and what I’m doing with my non-recyclable plastics to help the environment.

Prior to university, I was entirely ignorant of sustainability affairs. I am very ashamed of this and now changed my ways since being at Beckett. Nowadays sustainability is at the forefront of my mind and that's the case for many of my friends and other students too.

Sustainability is an important topic in my student house and my housemate especially is somewhat of a sustainability guru. She has regimented new practices and lifestyle changes in our household that make us more sustainable students, at little cost to ourselves. I want to share some of things that we do at home that you can do too, to live a greener lifestyle.


Create an ecobrick

Most plastic can be recycled with a few exceptions that cannot. It’s important to look out for what can be recycled by checking the packaging carefully. So, you may be wondering what we do with packaging that we can’t recycle?



An ecobrick we have created in our student house

This marvel of sustainability practice is made up of all non-recyclable material stuffed into a bottle. We push the plastic into the bottle and keep adding to this over time, ensuring that the materials are all tightly compact. When your brick gets as full as ours is in the photo above, it becomes solid. Ecobricks can then be used to make many different things such as furniture, structures, and buildings around the globe. I had no idea about this previously and did not believe that it would be firm enough to be used in any structure…How wrong I was! Once full, we put a cap on it, weigh it and take it to be dropped off at a local ecobrick drop off site, on one our daily jaunts of exercise. You can find your local drop off point by searching online or contacting a local natural store to enquire.

Considering that I’m a busy student, writing blogs, consistent assignments, trying to drink two litres of water a day and all that jazz; I find creating an ecobrick an effortless and interesting way to help tackle the growing plastic waste crisis and help to create a reusable resource at the same time.


Interested in creating an ecobrick?

You will need:

  • Large bottle (use one that has already been used and is ready for recycling)
  • Ensure that all non-recyclable plastics are clean and dry (no oil or food left on them)
  • Blunt packing stick (to press the plastic down into the bottle whilst making sure not to cut the plastic bottle)


Ecobricks are a great way to combat those non-recyclable materials but for those plastic, food, paper and metal materials that can be recycled, I always ensure I throw them in the correct bin so that they can be recycled properly.

These are just a few examples of ways we can look after the planet as students at LBU. I hope you found them helpful!