It seems like everything these days comes packaged in plastic. It's inexpensive to make and it is very durable, but so much of it ends up in our landfills each year. This is a huge problem as plastic can take hundreds of years to fully decompose, and every day we are just adding to the pile. Recycling and using reusable containers is the best solution to limiting the amount of plastic going into landfills, but it remains an uphill battle to convince people to do so.
To make matters worse, some types of plastic take longer to decompose. High-density polyethylene (HDPE), for example, is one of the most durable plastics available, and it is found in a surprising amount of products that we use each day. Given its durable properties, Imgur user Mergs21 has come up with a great way to upcycle these plastics to make a colorful, marble bowl. It's very inexpensive to make, and all of the supplies came from items he used over the course of a couple months. Seeing the finished product, it's surprising how elegant a mishmash of assorted plastic can look.
It took a couple of months, but he eventually collected enough HDPE containers, bottles, caps, and lids to embark on this DIY.
Once a sufficient amount of material was collected, they were arranged accordingly so that he could see how much of each color he had.
Afterward, he used a pair of scissors to start cutting up the plastic into small, easy-to-melt pieces.
One by one, each color was cut and arranged into piles so that they could be placed and melted into a mold.
For the mold, a large glass bowl was selected because it could easily withstand heat without flexing or changing shape. The different colors of plastic were then layered into the bowl until it was completely filled.
With the mold filled to the brim, it was time to head outside to the grill. It's important to note that this project is best done outside on an open barbecue. The melted plastic will give off fumes that you don't want to inhale or have lingering in your oven.
Placed on low heat, the plastic slowly began to melt. As it melted, the mold was continually topped off with any leftover plastic pieces to keep it filled.
Unfortunately, there was a mishap that resulted in the glass mold cracking, but the contents were easily transferred into another glass bowl. The plastic was then re-melted, cooled, and removed. The layers didn't come out as evenly as expected, but it still looked really interesting.
The next phase of constructing the bowl involved giving it the proper shape. Using a faceplate, the mass of melted plastic was mounted on a plate so that the outside of the bowl could be shaped with ease.
With the outside completed, all that was left to do was hollow out the interior.
Even though he used carbide lathe tools, the finish of the bowl came out incredibly smooth and without catches or rough areas.
The layering didn't come out as intended but it was still magnificent to behold.
To learn more about the details of the project, be sure to check out the full instructions here.
H/T: LifeBuzz | Mergs21