Resident starts clean-up in Noordhoek

* Above: Layla Saadien-Raad and Abby Benade, both from Fish Hoek, weigh their eco-bricks to see if they make the required weight.


The event was initiated by competitive runner, Karoline Hanks who spends a lot of time training on the roads of Noordhoek and surrounds.

“As a runner, one tends to notice the piles of rubbish lying in the storm water drains and verges. I have noticed how bad it has been getting lately and it bugged me so much I felt I had to mobilise and get the community involved,” she says.

Karoline is a passionate anti-single-use plastic campaigner and activist.

A few weeks ago, she posted on the Noordhoek Forum, appealing for the community to join a clean-up of both Main Road and Silvermine Road.

To add some fun and try something different, she decided to see if she could channel as
much of the waste as possible either to recycling or for re-use, to avoid sending it all to land-

“I have only recently heard about eco-bricks and their application in community builds,” she says. “To me, it’s a stroke of genius – instead of sending all this plastic and solid waste to landfill, or having it leak into the environment (and ultimately the ocean system), you make an eco-brick, which is used to build
much needed classrooms and creches.”

On Sunday, about 25 Noordhoek residents showed up to lend a hand. “I would have loved so many more to dig in, but those who did come worked incredibly hard, and had such a great energy, it was wonderful to see,” Karoline said.

“We literally just tackled two main roads in Noordhoek and it was astounding that from a cumulative distance of three or four kilometres, we managed to find so much waste,” Karoline said.

The morning’s bounty included 25 bags of unrecyclable waste, including car parts, a tyre, a
smashed up computer, clothing and a chair, as well as 20 bags of sorted recyclables such as glass,
tin, cardboard and plastic. A total
of 22 eco-bricks, crammed with unrecyclable waste such as sweet wrappers, rubber tubing, polystyrene and chip packets, were

One of the clean-up participants was Louise de Waal of Green Girls in Africa.

“I am very conscious of waste in general, but in particular the plastic non-recyclable type, such as plastic wrappers and polystyrene pack-
aging. For my vegetables, I use reusable mesh string bags made by Freshbag and I avoid plastic carrier bags whenever I can. “Glass, paper, cardboard, cans and tins, recyclable plastic,
and organics waste is all re-
cycled in our house, so our bin
ends up being filled with mostly non-recyclable packaging – my pet hate.

“However, eco-bricks are a great way of upcycling all your non-recyclable waste into a cheap building material,” she said.

Ms De Waal explained the concept of eco-bricks.

“Eco-bricks are a cheap, sustainable and highly insulating construction material that can be used in building projects, such as afford-
able housing, raised beds for the garden, park benches, boundary walls, and temporary exhibition structures.”

The bricks can be made by filling two-litre cooldrink bottles with non-recyclable plastic waste, such as plastic food packaging, chip packets, pet food bags, polystyrene cups
and trays, until the eco-brick is completely filled and weighs about