Plastic is a Greek word that means “Plasticity is possible.” Like its meaning, plastic can be processed into various shapes. Plastic is used in most things we use in daily life: textiles, films, plastic bags, plates, bottles, boxes, toothpaste, wet tissues, and chewing gums. However, thanks to its strong durability and lightweight, its production is increasing every year. According to Plastic Europe, over 367 million metric tonnes of plastic were produced in 2020.

Since the invention of the first plastic called celluloid in the 1860s, plastic has been developed into numerous forms and has brought convenience to human life in general, but now it is posing a great threat to our lives and the earth’s ecosystem.

It is hard to get rid of a plastic product once it is made. Even though plastic products gradually decompose when they are dumped around us, they still come back as microplastics that are invisible to our eyes.

Recently, attempts have been made to create recycled products which maximize the durability and malleability of plastic and use them semi-permanently. Ecobrick is one of those efforts. An ecobrick is a plastic bottle packed with used plastics or vinyl. It is strong as concrete when stuffed tightly.

Ecobricks can be used to produce furniture, flower beds, benches, walls, and so on. A venture company, miniwiz created a building, using ecobricks as a construction material, and this became a hot topic.

On November 25, 2022, ASEZ university students in Huancayo, Peru, worked with the city officials to install flower beds and tree guards at a park by using ecobricks.

Nagelly Sánchez said, “I’m delighted and thankful to take part in this activity that gives hope to the world. I felt rewarded after making space for the residents in a more sustainable way.” A city official said, “It’s my first time working with a university student volunteer group that is working for climate change in Huancayo,” and added, “I’m very impressed that there is an organization like ASEZ in our community.”

On this day, the city of Huancayo presented a certificate of appreciation in recognition of ASEZ’s contribution to the city.

Just as it is difficult to imagine that a small object made of tightly packed pieces of plastic can create the same strength as a concrete brick, the power that can be expressed through the actions and voices of local members may be something new that we have never seen before. Now that change is needed more than ever, every voice and action you make will be essential and priceless. ASEZ will continue to gather the power to change the world from all over the globe.