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🇪🇪 Precious Plastic Estonia


  • This topic has 95 replies, 24 voices, and was last updated 2 years ago by Jegor.
Jegor jegor-m

🇪🇪 Precious Plastic Estonia

25/06/2017 at 20:39

June 2017:
Today we have built the shredder and did a test run. A couple of things still to be tweaked, but overall we managed to get our first batch of shredded plastic.

Thanks to @davehakkens and the team for making this possible.

We would be happy to help anyone who is planning to start building the machines soon with some before-assembly advice.
December 2017 update: Shredder, Injector and 5/7 of the Extruder ready.
January 2018: Moving part of the production to Tallinn.
March 2018: The last – Compression machine almost ready.
May 2018: Started making wallclocks.
Sep – Dec 2018: Not so active season, looking for sponsorhip deals.
Estonian team: @jegor-m; @maximmm; @igor-smog; @dannydadog
Instagram /// Facebook page /// BAZAR page

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28/07/2017 at 17:46

Weekly update:

The last weekend was a bit chilled. We shredded 3.2kg of PP (5) coming from all sorts of canister lids, lawnmower casings, plastic sledges & used office supplies.

We also bought some cheap sheet metal bowls at a shop to do a bit of manual compression moulding. For that we heated up some PP in a small oven. Plastic was placed in between the bowls, which were cleaned beforehand. These bowls were strengthened a bit to prevent them from warping when load was applied. When plastic melted, we took it out and compressed the bowls between two plates until some plastic was squeezed out of the mould.

Lesson learned:
– Both parts of the mould were heated up in the mould, so no rapid surface plastic solidification occurred.
– Inspection upon ejection of the product from the mould showed that plastic was not fully molten, hence heating up time should be increased
– Thin steel bowls used for moulding tend to warp, despite the strengthening. Thicker moulds to be used.
– Overfilling the mould with plastic increases the melting time, this to be carefully considered.
– WD-40 lubricant was used. Some areas got stuck to the mould, some were easy to eject >> ultimate solution still to be found.
– Transparent Polypropylene had higher melting temperature and did not melt properly. Black and red PP mixed well. The result – layered bowl of very low strength.

01/07/2017 at 23:04

Weekly update:

All the machine building and testing along with plastic sorting and preparation is done at my summer house in the fresh air. This weekend I sorted through all the plastic collected by friends and the team members. There result is on the photo below.

Plan for the next week is to finish with shredder (some aesthetic tweaks) and to start building the injection machine.

While the compression unit parts are being collected, we already have a small oven, which we want to use for HDPE heat up and further pressing in a separate wooden frame to get basic HDPE plates.

Lots of planning ahead, but it is for good! See you next week.

25/06/2018 at 17:00

Update N.25 – Great success story v2

Hello people. Today we’ll continue with some difficulties with the keychain mould success story shown above. After drilling the sprue (injection hole) to 8mm diameter, the results started to shine!!

But not for long.

Photo n1 shows why.
As you can see, the mould hook is made of a plate, where the hook is created with straight cuts. This allows for shearing under applied load.
In our case, over cycles of opening and closing the mould, the hook got deformed badly, see photo n2. The hook was strengthened by some welding under it, but unfortunate location of the hole in the plate (photo n3) does not give the weld much of a base, so it doesn’t help at all.
What we did > we added max amount of weld that would fit in the latch, both sides, so it won’t be a problem anymore.

14/05/2018 at 10:15

Update N.24 – Great success story

Oh hi there,
Recently we got an aluminium mold from the headquarters, for some time to test and see how it goes. We wanted everyone to know that behind all the fancy looking product photos, there are lots of trials and errors, mistakes and failures.

We got the first two keychains made well and the rest of them, moulded another day, you can see below.

What are we going to do?
Well, melting temp is high enough, no chance of going higher. We’ll try to warm up the mould itself. This will allow slower plastic solidification. Also injection itself should be controlled a bit better.

30/03/2018 at 01:41

@jegor-m I just wanted to congratulate you and the team for challenging yourselves and pushing precious plastics further. Great effort!

29/03/2018 at 23:56

@geat, as far as I know, the badges we made have the same volume of plastic as in the hexagonal coasters. You can argue that it is a small item, sure, but we would still make it again if needed.
As for the production volume, we had three ovens running simultaneously and the sheet press always busy. We had 6 sets of plates to squeeze the plastic between (which we called molds for some reason) with changeover time to the press every 10 mins.

20/02/2018 at 10:04


Sorry next post is from Finland 😛

Some fast facts about PE

It is stronger and harder than LDPE.
It is more rigid than LDPE.
The density can range from 0.95- .97 g/cm3.
135°C (higher melting point compared to LDPE).

It is less strong and weaker than HDPE.
It is more flexible than HDPE.
The density can range from 0.91-0.94 g/cm3.
115°C (Lower melting point compared to HDPE).

So I guess the melting point temperature would be the most inconvenient..

30/01/2018 at 22:17

🌎Update N.18 – Extruder

Eight months ago we had our first meeting and a casual discussion about the possibility of starting a local Precious Plastic branch in Estonia.

Today our garage has an injector, shredder and an extruder. The latter is still to be tested with plastic.
Future plans include building a compression machine (fancy oven) with rotomoulding capability, a small PET bottle shredding machine, may be also a long (limousine) oven for the longboards and a vacuumforming machine. We’ll see how it goes.

22/01/2018 at 21:45


Of course. 🙂
Here is a teaser for the upcoming post about coaster injection. Stay tuned!)

19/01/2018 at 11:58

@jegor-m This is a really great story, full of details. I have a question, for big pieces of plastic recicled by extrusion (bigger than the aluminium can) you mentioned that it has to cool down slowly (p.e. in the oven), right? If we apply some pressure and always with a controlled temperature (I mean avoiding overheating), do we still need to cool it down slowly?

Thank you,

17/01/2018 at 17:49

Great work so far, I will be keeping an eye out on this thread to see how your machinery and processes progress. :o) I hope setting up your workshop in Tallinn is the start of something new and exciting for you.

17/01/2018 at 00:38

👍 really cool!

16/01/2018 at 22:22


25/12/2017 at 23:34

Question on your remark concerning the overheating with bubbling…
Do you mean that over temperature result the bubbles? Not only the burn…
Thanks for your feedback

06/12/2017 at 01:07

Awesome!I could watch that for ages.

25/11/2017 at 16:02

@andyn, sure, will post it when I get a chance.
Coaster thicknesses: PP – 8mm, HDPE – 6mm.

25/11/2017 at 15:02

Good first results! What is the thickness of the coasters ~6mm?

Can you show us the mould attached to the injection nozzle (held by pressure)?

25/11/2017 at 15:02

Wow @jegor-m that looks really nice! Especially for the first few trials!

18/09/2017 at 14:02

🌎Weekly update N.11 – PART 2 – ‘Not that cool after all’

This part is going to be mostly about recent failures.

We still use the same mixed shredded PP(5) that includes lots of various sources of plastic like lawn mower covers, a sledge, food containers, washing powder caps, office supplies. All of these materials come from different places / originally manufactured in various countries. The material slightly differs in melting temperature and this impacts the composition / structural integrity of a part.
The first ever plastic item we shredded was a pack of transparent PP cups. Ironically this is what caused most of the problems for us. Initially we did not consider sorting plastic by colour, as we wanted to start experimenting with the material asap. This lead to a bag of PP mixed in colour. Transparent PP cups, mentioned above, have a slightly higher melting temperature and melt only after all the coloured PP chips are in liquid state.

When filling an aluminium can with plastic pellets and melting it, keep in mind that it goes faster if done in layers. As I was doing multiple things the same time, the top surface of some layers gt a bit burned. If you put plastic pellets over that burned plastic surface, it will still blend, but might be weak.

How do you expect a block of plastic to cool down?
Imagine: you have an aluminium can filled with molten plastic. You take it out of the oven and place it onto a table outside. How would it cool down? Some people think, that at the end of the day you will have a cylinder of plastic. Unfortunately, the center of the can stays hot, while the outer side of plastic touching the Al walls cools down. This brings the effect of the center dropping down (like a volcano crater). So in the photos above, roughly a half of the height of that ‘Plastic Can’ is empty in the middle. All we can use it for now is one side of a Yo-Yo. 😎

Lesson learned:
– When shredding, sort the material not only by type, but by colour as well.
– When melting plastic in an aluminium can (or any other container), keep an eye on time to prevent it from burning.
– Plastic doesn’t stick to burned plastic well. OK, but not great.
– Molten plastic needs to be cooled down gradually, ideally in the oven.

17/08/2017 at 04:43

Lessons learned are gold. Keep it up man!!!

14/08/2017 at 16:14

Totally love your work!
Keep it up 🙂

09/08/2017 at 23:07

Cool @jegor-m ,

Let me know if you relocate to Tallinn, and maybe I can come and check out your machines 🙂 (Tallinn is only a ferry ride away from here 😛 )

08/08/2017 at 21:49

Hey @jegor-m ! Where in Estonia are you based?

07/08/2017 at 16:06

Getting real good!

04/08/2017 at 13:11

Nice updates Jegor! I like the lesson learned list you make. Very informative.

25/06/2017 at 23:07

looking good @jegor-m!

22/07/2019 at 16:09

Meanwhile, the life goes on. We’ve been making some of the wall clocks in the background and selling them on the Bazaar and through local channels. Currently the business model looks like – sell as many wall clocks as possible. At the current production rate, we barely cover the monthly garage rent. A switch towards workshop based activities is required and also developing local group of volunteers is a must. Machine development is somewhat frozen at the moment to maximize the production.
If you have any tips about the workshops, give us a shout!

(resource efficiency will help us become type 1 civilization 🙂 )

16/08/2018 at 17:48

Amazing work !!

08/08/2018 at 10:29

Great work guys!

14/05/2018 at 21:56

@jegor-m You could try leaving one of the ‘failures’ in one side (cut it off at the gate) and next time you inject the plastic you will get better flow and pressure into the empty cavity. I agree about the mould heating, not only does it take much longer but also wastes a lot of energy repeatedly heating and cooling the mould.


Very nice looking mould by the way!

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