India is the second-largest brick manufacturer in the world. However, this has also resulted in affecting the environment adversely due to the huge production of bricks. To find a solution to this increasing pollution, Jatin Gaur, a B-tech graduate has come up with a sustainable alternative of eco-bricks that are made up of waste plastic. In a conversation with The EarthView, Jatin explained how this sustainable alternative could replace the age-old red-clay bricks.

"During the production of bricks in kilns, harmful elements are released causing air pollution. Also, bricks are made by the soil that is obtained by scooping out the part of the earth. This periodically leads to the shredding of fertile top layer of soil, which is essential for productive agriculture. Therefore, the production of this sustainable alternative of eco-bricks will reduce the plastic menace and simultaneously will provide a cheap source for building different structures,” says Jatin Gaur who has been working on this initiative for the last one and a half year.

Explaining the process of making of eco-bricks, Jatin said, "Take One or two-litre plastic bottle, collect some crisp packets, then arrange plastic bags from roadsides or beaches in bulk quantity and different non-biodegradable waste and a stick. Fill the bottle full of the waste materials collected and pile it up in the bottle with the help of the stick. "

"This tight tube of plastic becomes a building block, which can then be used for a range of things from sculptures to construction projects," adds Jatin

With such a simple concept and easy steps, Jatin is endeavouring consciousness among locals for saving the environment and spreading awareness.

"We are not professional architects, but though we do have the fundamental knowledge to build a home, and components that are needed. So, to bring a change it's not essential to put forward a big proposal. But even carrying out small steps can contribute towards a big change," says Jatin.

Formation of Kabaadey:

"I completed my last year in July and I came up with an idea that could unravel the serious plastic issue up to some extent. The reason behind conscious thinking about the environment was my family members. I have an army family background. Being brought up in such an atmosphere has always influenced me to contribute to the welfare of the country. With a continuous approach and mindset to do things that are out of the box, One day, while researching over the Internet, I discovered a concept called Eco-bricks. It is any construction of bricks made out of plastic bottles that have various plastic wastes in it like food packets, chocolate packets, etc. That idea was perfectly accomplishing the aim of the government to emphasise the stoppage on the use of plastic, as it's not good for our mother earth, " describes Jatin.

He further said, "I decided to do something for the betterment of our nation, therefore I initiated 'Kabaadey', to put my plan into action, and to multiply the growth."

Jatin further said, "Initially, I boosted my motive with the workshops in various schools and tried to spread awareness among children, so at a young age, they can adopt this concept in their lives. With an efficient sustainable waste management agenda. I got approval in various schools for conducting seminars and workshops where we highlighted problems of plastic menace and ways to protect it. Also, encouraged students to find a bottle from their homes and collect as much plastic waste as they can and submit the collected materials to us."

Jatin's initiative focuses on the following:

1. Educating students on waste reduction.

2. Let students learn about waste segregation at a basic level.

3. Teach the best practices of waste management to students.

4. To create awareness among students about environmental issues and ecological concepts.

5. Awareness about self-waste management for children studying in schools.

6. Spreading the message for the implementation of eco-friendly steps among the community.

Once a good amount of eco-bricks are collected, it was taken to construct various structures such as toilets, table, chair, stray dog's shelter and other public welfare structures constructed across villages.

A Step Ahead towards Healthy Environment

Jatin is actively looking forward to connecting with those people who can help him in spreading awareness and build more structures.

He explained the advantage of using plastics as an option for building bricks and said, "Eco-bricks are a ready-made solution to the crises created by plastics. We had the advantage of utilising plastic waste as a binder as it makes the bricks water-resistant and enhances bricks' strength. These bricks are a source for cleaning up local areas, educating schools and communities, and creating structures that will stand the test of time."

With all of the efforts made in a certain period, Jatin was acknowledged by several educational institutions and awarded with momento. Currently, the team of Kabaadey has been engaged in the project of construction of a house. This project is carried out with the support of the government and going to be the first of its kind structure ever built.

Eco-bricks are not only helping in the cleanup programs of rivers and coastlines, but these practices can directly benefit local communities. Creating homes from plastic waste is eco-conscious thinking, the plastics are sturdy and will stand the test of time, which can be used again and again for decades to come.

Jatin concludes, "I wish to educate every individual in our country, so we can all operate on our resources properly and make our Earth a better place to live."

Written by: Manoj Khetan