What are bottle schools


Bottle schools are schools built using plastic bottles stuffed with inorganic trash, known as “eco-bricks”. It takes around 6,500 eco-bricks to build a two-classroom school.

To make eco-bricks, community members collect plastic soda bottles and stuff them full of inorganic trash such as plastic bags, chip packets and polystyrene, until the bottles are hard like bricks.

Bottle schools are built using tried and tested post and beam construction, with strong foundations and concrete columns and beams reinforced with iron.

The difference with traditional post and beam construction is that instead of the walls being filled with cinder-blocks or bricks, the walls are filled with eco-bricks. The frame (columns and beams) of the building provide the structural integrity, while the bottles act as filler (insulation) in the walls. Cement stucco on both sides of the walls means that from the outside, you can’t even tell that the walls are made of eco-bricks.

Bottle schools are an efficient and environmentally-conscious way to help fill the need for educational infrastructure that exists in many countries. Reusing plastic waste to build bottle schools cleans the community of trash, and in the process educates youth about the environmental impact of non-biodegradable waste.

Above all, bottle schools are a community effort. It would be very difficult for one person to collect 6,500 bottles and over two tons of trash to build a school. A community, working together, can achieve this.



13 Responses to What are bottle schools

  1. Hi There! I can’t seem to get a copy of the manual 🙁 Is it possible for someone to pretty pretty please email a copy to me? I’m trying to teach our conservation club students in Zanzibar about Ecobricking and it would be such a great help!

    Thanks so much!

    • Hi Celeste, not a problem! I have just sent you the pdf. Please let me know if you have any questions.

      Hugs, Kara

  2. Hi there

    Could you please please send me a copy of the manual in pdf, I’m based in Lesotho and I would like to donate a few classrooms to a rural school.


  3. Hi. I am unable to download the manual. Can someone help and send it to me as an email attachment?
    I am working with a couple of youth groups in Mombasa’s rural areas who are interested in experimenting with the possibility of building with plastic bottles.


  4. Bom dia,

    Estamos tentando construir uma escola de garrafas, tem como nos enviar o manual em PDF.Obrigada

    • Hello Valentina,

      Thank you for requesting the PDF version of the Bottle School Manual. I just emailed the BSM to you. 🙂


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