South Africa: Plastic waste is transformed into ecobricks.
A non-existent budget and the need for a new classroom is what sparked Diana Musara's innovative idea. Musara runs Khensani's Collection, an educational organization that provides after-school classes for young people in the small, under-resourced community of Diepsloot. Needing to expand her offerings, Musara's research led her to ecobricks, which are made by using sand or single-use plastics placed in 2-liter or 750-milliliter bottles to create a solid "brick." These "bricks" not only offer a cost-effective solution to a construction problem, but also help combat illegal dumping and general pollution in the community. With the help of volunteers, living both inside and outside of Diepsloot, more than 16,000 ecobricks were created to build a new classroom. The ecobricks can be used to build anything from a small park bench to a 42-square-meter building. She can earn up to R500 (US$35) a month, in addition to the clothes and food donated to her family. For volunteer Sharon Sibanda, participating in the ecobrick-making effort was a much better alternative than sitting at home. She can earn up to R500 (US$35) a month, in addition to the clothes and food donated to her family. For the Musara, building the classroom is just the tip of the iceberg of "Diepsloot Rehabilitation." The organization plans to build an eco-center on the site, which will house five more classrooms, a library and a recreation center. The project plans to begin construction the second week of November 2021.