We’re always looking out for ways to make our film lab a more sustainable operation, so when we started to run out of space in the lab under mountains of plastic film canisters, we knew we needed to find a solution for this type of film processing waste. After seeing some of their wonderful recycled plastic creations on Instagram, we reached out to Motley Makers, who agreed to turn our waste plastic into beautiful objects through their sister company Mischief Plastics. We took a trip over to their workshop to see how they turn your unused film canisters into sheets of marble like plastic, used to make everything from coasters to stools, and much, much more.
First up the plastic is sorted, taking any stickers off the canisters. These stickers will burn in the melting process and leave brown burn marks on the new sheet of plastic. Once the plastic is free of any stickers, it’s put through the shredder. For our sheets, some of the grey plastic lids are left to the side to be added whole. This helps to create interesting sections when the plastic is melted down.
The shredded plastic is then weighed and laid out into a mold ready to be heat pressed. Then comes the waiting game! The plastic is left for to melt into shape before being carefully slid off the heat press into another press which allows the new sheet to cool without bending out of shape.
Once the sheet of plastic has cooled for long enough, the plastic sheet can be peeled away from the steel mold and the final effect revealed. From here the sheets can be used for a whole host of things.
Currently, our plastic has been used by Mischief Plastics to create coasters, however, we’re working with them to produce items for the lab, as well as experimenting with them on some exciting new products.
Don’t forget to follow Mischief Plastics on Instagram to see more of their amazing projects.