Melting Plastic Into Coasters

One way of upcycling plastic waste is to shred it and melt it to mold it into new things. One way to do this at home is to use a paper shredder to shred the plastic and then melt it in a toaster. Please note I used PLA plastic which is relatively nontoxic when melted. HDPE will also work. Here are the steps to recycle your plastic waste at home.

  1. Collect Materials
    1. Shredded Plastic
    2. Toaster Oven
    1. Toaster Safe Mold
    2. Heat Resistant Gloves
    3. Mask
    4. Sandpaper
  2. Pour plastic into mold evenly
    1. Make sure not to add too much or it will not melt evenly
  3. Set the toaster to the melting temp of your plastic
    1. Make sure you are using a non-toxic plastic like PLA or HDPE.
    2. The melting temp of PLA is 180 to 220 degrees celsius (356 – 428 degrees Fahrenheit).
  4. Put the mold with the plastic into the toaster and start toasting
  5. Check periodically
  6. When the plastic is evenly melted take it out and let it cool
  7. When cooled sand down any rough edges
    1. You might want to rinse off any plastic remains when you are done sanding.

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