EcoBricks : Pursuit Of A Sustainable World

Quibdó, ColombiaRio Quito , Colombia
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

EcoBricks is a for-profit social venture that manufactures bricks from recycled plastic. We create jobs to mitigate unemployment and we develop low cost and eco-friendly bricks that can help people with low resources have a home in Chocó, Colombia.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if, building houses with bricks made of recycled plastic could reduce poverty and give people a home? Well it is possible. Help me make it a reality
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Every day, about 28 tons of plastic are thrown to the river in Chocó. About 79% (352.257people) of the population live in poverty and 22,5% don´t have a proper home to live in. Pretty devastating isn´t it? But it doesn´t have to continue like this, we can´t continue contaminating our environment and ignoring this problems if we know we can change it. So why don´t we?

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

EcoBricks tackles this issue by promoting recycling of plastic. The company is also going create jobs in this region of Colombia (Chocó). Indirect jobs are going to be created for people that live in extreme poverty and their duty is to collect the plastic and bringing it to EcoBricks they are going to be the providers of the raw-material. eco-friendly bricks are manufactured and sold as an alternative for construction - as they are cheaper and better for the environment. Also aside from the company, a project is going to take place called HomeSweetHome where volunteers are going to get together and with the people of the region we are going to construct houses for the less fortunate. it is a win win for the environment and the people too.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Imagine you are a boy from Chocó your house is in a really bad condition and there is a lot of waste, would you really want to live like this? Imagine if you could pick up a piece of plastic and convert it into a house. Wouldn't that be magical? You could create houses for all your friends and family too and make the planet greener. You would be the most important magician in town, everyone would like you, you would clean the streets and create houses for everybody. Queen/King of Chocó!!

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The quantitative impact of the company is desired to be that by 2016, 700 houses are build and more than 1,050.000 bricks are produced. But what it is really important is not only the quantitative solution but the qualitative one, from the social landscape. It would make a difference in the community because it would encourage recycling and that would have a positive impact in the environment. By the other hand, the life of the people is going to improve because they would have access to a place they can call home, also there are going to be less families living in less than $2 a day mitigating extreme poverty in this region of Colombia. It would empower those affected by the problem because it would change their vision of the world and it would make them see that with the proper ideas and hard work you can be a part of something bigger like turning plastic waste into a home.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

I would like to implement this project in other places around the world were you can see a lot of poverty and also a lot of waste. It would be a good solution to the contamination problem around countries and to the problem that some people, that are really poor don´t have access to the basic needs as it is a house. so because the bricks are cheaper, cheaper houses can be built allowing more people around the world to have a home.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

my project would be sustained by revenue generation and donations too. Revenue generations because it would sell bricks to the construction companies for the building of houses - as an alternative for normal bricks because this are cheaper and can support a house of up to 2 floors. Donations in the sense that when the project HomeSweetHome is taken into action, we would have the enough materials needed to build a proper house.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

I would interact with the bigger players in the market not by being their competition but by being their partner. As a start up i have a lot to learn about Chocó and how to deal with it and also about the recycling process. That is why i am in contact with a company of recycling in Cali and i am also in contact with a company working currently in Chocó to also improve the lifestyle of people. I fit into this market because there are not a lot of companies or people addressing this issue so there is a gap in the market. Not everyone is interested in making this region a better place, but I am.

Founding Story

One Tuesday, I couldn't attend to class because of personal issues. When I asked what we did, one of my classmates said, "we need to eradicate poverty by Sunday." Imagine missing class once and the first thing you know is that basically you need to save the world. My first thought was, "how am I going to do this?" I spent the two following days really stressed about this, thinking non-stop. How? Then it hit me. I was going to create a company that helped the environment AND people with low resources. So I started searching for sustainable products and found the bricks made of plastic. what better way that helping the environment by recycling the waste that contaminates it the most?


The composition of my team right now is really small we are two people, myself, Gabriela Tejada (founder) and Marketing and Social entrepreneurship student and a friend that is really interested in this issue too called Maria Grande, Management Student. Colombia and Spain. We are planing to evolve the team composition as the project grows by recruiting people to work with us that also have an innovative imagination and know that the world can be a better place if we all put our effort and work together.
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

Through one of my teachers

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:


Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

No Poverty.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

Before moving to London, I brought a project to my hometown, Cali - Colombia, called ¨Ya Tengo Donde Escribir¨. (now i have where to write). This project consisted in recycling old pieces of white paper and cereal boxes to make notebooks for the children of a school called Potrero Grande in one of the poorest and more dangerous areas of this city. we provided 150 notebooks for students that didn´t have where to write to help them with their education. you can see the video here.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

My mom and my dad have been a lot of help because they are the ones connecting me with the people i am going to be working with to take into action my ideas. also my teachers because they have guided me through the process and they encouraged me to take place in this competition.

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