How Do You Clean Your Plastic?
Vincentvegas, a plastic consultant, recently began addressing the issue of cleaning plastic on his intro post. Several people jumped in pretty quick because I think we all recognize this as one of the bigger challenges, especially if you have ever tried to recycle ocean plastic. I am hoping he, and anyone else out there can lend some expertise on the subject of cleaning recycled plastic in preparation for reuse.
To catch everybody up on what was already posted, here is what we have learned so far
We have been giving cleaning special attention since V3 of the container workshop
Forget about trying to make your recycled plastic food safe cause its nearly impossible with current technology, and we dont want to be putting our friends in danger
Soap and water will work well with water bottle type use plastic but things that come in contact with chemicals and oil need some extra work
Some cleaning may take washing, shredding, then washing again.
Thank you @jtaloha
I think that this is one of the things that has to be included in PP v4.
How we can scale down what the large industries do but at a much smaller scale. I think that a washing machine drum would suit most people, wether they recycle a few hundred grams or tens of kilos per day or week.
If someone want to go even smaller they can use one of those that the old ladies use for bingo.
But will it work with only water or is anything else essential to get it really clean???
In my case though, I probably don’t think just hot or cold water would be sufficient enough, as my plastic will come from filthy, smelly landfills in Vietnam.
Maybe have one bath with some detergent and hot water, where the drum is partially submerged and another with fresh water to rinse of any remains?
I wrote this in another post, but I’ve personally cleaned electronics enclosures (backs of tube TVs) by putting them in the Dishwasher, I had to cut some of them down first, and this takes an hour or so, but it worked very well. The only things I have to consider when I do this are:
1. Will the plastic melt at temperature. I’ve done ABS mostly, as I’m working on making 3D printer filament, I’d be cautious of doing anything with a melting point close to the boiling point of water.
2. Is there a large surface area covered by stickers/labels? In my experience, all this does is clean them very well. I’ve had the corners lift a little, but they rarely, if ever come off of the base plastic.
3. Are there any areas the water can pool in? This is a big one, as if the water won’t drain, neither will the contaminants.
I’m not sure if there’s a way we can make this work off the grid or how we can do this with less wasted water, but this does get me consistently clean results.
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