The Eco-brick Exchange Project

WORDS Malibongwe Tyilo

The Eco-brick Exchange project, founded by Port Elizabeth-based freelance architect Ian Dommisse, is not only assisting in cleaning up the environment, it’s helping kids get an education one 2L soda bottle at a time.

In order to make an eco-brick, all you need is one 2L plastic soda bottle, which is then stuffed to capacity with household waste and trash that can’t be recycled – and just like that you have an inexpensive eco-brick that can be used to build entire structures. In fact, one of the Eco-brick Exchange’s current projects is to upgrade Penguin Preschool in Port Elizabeth’s Walmer township.

The preschool is currently a shack behind owner Blommie Nontshinga’s house. Ian Dommisse entered the project for SAB’s Social Innovation Awards and came out with a R150 000 in seed money to start the build. In total, the cost of the project will come up to R670 000. While the R150k is a great injection and vote of confidence in this worthy project, Dommisse and his team are still hard at work raising the necessary funds for its completion.

Visit to find out how you can get involved, either by donating your time, trash, or cash.