Plastic is a very versatile material that can be made into almost anything, from our home's roofing to dinner plates. Here's how to make your own plastic from supplies that can be found at home.
Plastic from Recycled Styrofoam
1. Prepare all the materials needed and be sure to follow safety measures.
A small can of acetone, some recycled Styrofoam cups or plates, a glass jar, safety goggles to protect your eyes, a face mask and butyl rubber gloves. Acetone is a flammable chemical, so do this procedure in a well-ventilated area away from fire or extreme heat. It can cause severe skin and eye damage, so protective eye goggles and butyl rubber gloves or any acetone-resistant gloves are highly recommended to avoid injuries. Prolonged exposure to acetone may also cause respiratory irritation, while long-term exposure may result in liver impairment. It would be prudent to read the label on the can of acetone for further reference. Washing your hands after handling acetone should also be done to avoid ingestion, which could also be dangerous to your health.
2. Make the plastic.
Pour about half a cup of acetone into the glass jar. Put the cut-up Styrofoam into the jar, making sure that you allow them to melt first before adding some more. Repeat the procedure until all the Styrofoam you add is melted. You now have plastic from recycled Styrofoam, which you can mold into whatever shape you desire. The plastic will typically set in 12 hours so you may want to cover its glass container so that it doesn't get too hard. However, you can always add in acetone in little amounts to soften the plastic mixture.
Eco-Friendly Plastic from Cow's Milk
1. Have all the materials ready.
Prepare half a cup of milk, lemon juice or white vinegar, and a medium saucepan.
2. Make your plastic.
Pour the milk into the saucepan and heat on a low to medium fire until it simmers. Add in a few spoonfuls of lemon juice or vinegar while stirring. Continue stirring in the lemon juice or vinegar until the mixture begins to curdle and gel. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool. Afterwards, rinse the curds with running water. These rubbery curds can now be cast into whatever shape you wish.
Too much use of plastics has proven to be harmful to the environment. We should avoid excessive use of them and practice reusing and recycling to avoid adding to the already unmanageable waste ruining the Earth.