On world oceans day 2018, students from the Tunghai University collected plastic waste from Da'an beach in Taichung. With our help, part of this waste was turned into new products.
Here is what we did:
First, we cleaned the beach litter with water to remove sand and other impurities. Second, we used scissors to cut the material into small pieces. Third, we dried the plastic pieces at 90°C for two hours in an oven. Fourth, we cut the plastic pieces into even smaller pieces and then filled the mould. Ultimately, we conducted the heat compression and cooled the mould before removing the product and cleaning the machine.
The experiment showed that heat compression allows complicated material compositions such as beach litter to be recycled into new products. However, mixing different types of plastics negatively affects the product quality. Therefore it is important to consider the desired functionality of the final product first, before a heat compression can be recommended. It should also be noted that the process can be very time and energy consuming.
Photocredits: Falk Schneider
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