How It Works
Step 1 - Collect Used Plastic - The first step in this whole process is simply collecting used plastic that would otherwise be going to the landfill or into a recycling bin (the contents of which may be going to China?). My early effort (in January 2019) involved putting a bin out by my letterbox where my neighbours could drop off their plastic. I can up-cycle types 2 (HDPE) and 5 (Polypropylene).
Step 2 - Cleaning And Sorting - Now the plastic gets sorted and really cleaned. Depending on the cleanliness of the plastic I receive this step can be quick or time consuming. Here is a heap of plastic in our kitchen.
Step 3 - Shredding - Once the plastic is all clean and sorted, the next step is to shred it. I bought a machine specifically for this purpose. The plastic gets shredded down into tiny pieces.
I try to keep colours somewhat separated, but that can be challenging depending on the source of the plastic. Separation of the colours is what allows me to be creative when making the soap dishes.
Step 4 - Melting and Injection - The shredded plastic is then heated to over 200 degrees C and melts. I then inject the liquid plastic into a mould, like this one for my original soap dishes. The liquid plastic quickly solidifies inside the mould and is solid when I remove it from the mould.
Step 5 - Finished Product - The end result of this process is that I create beautiful, decorative soap dishes from plastic, giving the the plastic a new life, and thereby keeping it out of the environment.
These creations have been around - in more ways than one!