Tonight I took some of our plastic grocery bag and plastic wrapper waste and put it in a small coffee can (with a stone for weight) and immersed it in the basket of my new stainless steel electric deep fryer (the kind with a thermostat for making french fries) set to 360 F. 45 minutes later, with no smoke or fumes or smell, all was melted down into a manageable recyclable product.
The can in the fryer has holes punched in the bottom so that oil fills it; this keeps it stable on the bottom of the fryer and lubricates the melting plastic so that it doesn't stick to the can.
The end product is a hard block of plastic that can be cut, shaped, drilled and recycled. I make mine by scooping the plastic goop with two metal forks from the can in the fryer into the cut end of a discarded plastic bottle and letting it cool down. Because the plastic was melted in vegetable oil it does not stick to the container it is put in. After it cools you pop it out. The compressed blocks of recycled plastic bags float in water, but even if they found there way into the ocean (unlikely because they no longer get lifted out of garbage pits and landfills and streets and sewers by the wind) they would be unlikely to be eaten by wildlife as they no longer resemble jellyfish and they cannot entangle wildlife either. They would be much easier to remove from the environment too. But they could also be used as building blocks for all sorts of products, from bowls and plates to benches and manhole covers. One could conceivably create pressure molds for all sorts of products; a pressure mold would make a more uniform product.
around the city where they are sardonically called "Egypt's National Bird". But with the "deep fryer approach the volume can be safely and easily reduced and turned into a higher density product that can be accumulated and transported easily for resale, or can be put into molds to make bowls and other value added objects.
Nice one. Really liking this.
There's a big difference from doing this over an open fire as we've seen before. The challenge now, aside from upscaling as you say, is to find ways of moulding and up-cycling the resultant mass.
Well done. Thanks for sharing.
Yeah! This is real cool. I did the same thing except I cooked it directly in the oil. I love the double boiler idea. I cut them into kids' building blocks and it was featured on Make: Magazine. Check out my original post here: http://pushtheotherbutton.com/index.php?id=4059335774392408449
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