We produce bricks from plastic waste paving the way to a circular economy. Driven by dedicated students, we build a sustainable start-up, which aims to demonstrate the brick’s potential in the Indonesian city of Ambon.
BUILDING BRICKS FROM PLASTIC WASTE
Plastic waste will not only be removed from the environment, but at the same time will be given a new and long-term value. Thus, we will collect the plastic from beaches, public institutions and private individuals in particular. The waste will then be transformed into plastic bricks facilitating countless applications. In the spirit of a circular economy, we only use single-grade plastic, which means we can easily recycle the bricks. To be concrete, Fish’N’Bricks not only cleans up the environment, but at the same time creates jobs. Moreover, it can contribute decisively to the efforts outlined in the Sustainability Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations. These include the responsible consumption and production as well as the protection of the life below water.
Why plastic waste?
The pollution of the environment by plastic waste is one of the greatest challenges of our time. As students and representatives of a young generation, we would like to take action. Microplastics already permeate all areas of our lives and nature. In addition, animals mistake plastic waste for food or get tangled in nets and food packaging, which usually leads to an agonizing death. If the situation does not better, plastic waste will exceed fish in our oceans.
Public awareness to protect the environment is still absent. This is due to the lack of education about the dangers of plastic pollution to our lives.Theria, Moluccas Coastal Care
Indonesia is particularly affected by the human-made threat of plastic waste. There is no infrastructure for disposal or recycling and new plastic waste washes up on beaches every hour. After China, Indonesia is the country that pollutes the world’s oceans the most. Every year, 6.8 million tonnes of plastic waste are generated – a figure growing by 5% annually. Without bold and decisive interventions, the flow of plastic waste into Indonesia’s oceans is projected to increase by 30% to around 800,000 tonnes by 2025 (Source: global-plastic-action, 2022).
In addition, the economic and social situation of the emerging country is tense. The poverty rate in Indonesia is just under five percent, and 13% of the population has to get by without a fixed income (as of 2020). As a result, the cityscape in the major cities is dominated by extensive slums.
More than 12,000 km lie between Karlsruhe and Ambon, where we want to realize our project. The Indonesian city is located on the island of the same name in the Moluccas and belongs to the Maluku province. About half of the 270,000 inhabitants live in the provincial capital Ambon. There, we are already working together with six different NGOs that are also committed to rethink the value of plastic waste.
Fish’N’Bricks was founded in January 2019. The idea for the project was developed by five students during the innovation phase of Enactus KIT e.V. in the winter semester 2018/19. Since the foundation, a lot has happened: our team has significantly grown, we have entered into cooperations, further developed our ideas and partly turned them into reality. Today, we have more than 20 members, work together with ten partners from industry and research, and can already look back on numerous successes and competition prices.