Plastic – Recycle Locally 1


A Bucket of Plastic – and a Plastic Bucket

It has been a while since I last posted. I’m not sure where the time has gone, but it has been divided unequally between editing work, writing work and what I like to think of as ‘projects’. The latter is really just another way of saying ‘other things that you do when the urge takes you’.

For a while now I have been looking at the idea of recycling plastic. This train of thought was started when the Snail shared a link to a site called preciousplastic. This site has been set up by a Dutch student who has designed small-scale machines for recycling everyday plastic in your backyard or street. It’s well worth a look.

I have decided to try and recycle type 2 plastic, that is, HDPE, that is, High Density PolyEthylene, that is, milk bottles and their lids. What with cheese-making and, you know, drinking milk, Chez Snail has a reasonable amount of the stuff on any given day.


Current Shredder System

So,the idea is to make a shredder and then make an injection moulding machine. Both are currently well beyond my constructional capabilities (I can do the electrics OK, that’s about it). Although I hope to make the machines out of scrap, the electronic bits will have to new I think. I have ordered the temperature controllers and sensors from a UK company (who actually appear to be a warehouse for stuff from China) but I don’t seem to be able to buy the band heaters from anywhere outside Hong Kong or China for a reasonable cost. I’ll keep looking for a bit before I buy them though, in case there is a UK source I have missed.

The injection moulder is actually quite a straightforward idea – essentially, it is a barrel that you heat to the melting point of the plastic and a plunger to force that plastic out into a mould under some pressure.


What the Injection Moulder should look like


A Shredder – I may be sticking with scissors









Hopefully, I will report back in a couple of months with a story of DIY exploits and injected recycled plastic.

Me, DIY and plastic at 131°C – what could possibly go wrong??


Categories: Plastic, recycling, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Plastic – Recycle Locally 1

  1. pat2727

    Marvelous idea, hope it works out for you. I’m not going to be building any machines, but I can share that website on my Facebook page and help spread the word. I’d even save my plastic for anyone who was interested in doing this. It could be a great cottage industry for some folks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great idea 🙂
    Every time I put my plastic milk bottles in the recycling bag, I wonder what they could be used for, and this idea seems perfect 🙂
    If you do go ahead, do let me know, and I’ll start saving up my plastic for you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Stop. Go. Stop. Go | writinghouse

  4. Pingback: Plastic – Recycle Locally 2 | writinghouse

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