Plastic pollution creates a big problem for the environment. It affects aquatic life, human health, and climate change. When people use plastic, they dispose of it to the ground, which later finds its way into the water bodies.
As you know, plastic does not decompose. Hence, it can remain in the water bodies for many years while suffocating marine animals and polluting water which becomes unsafe for human consumption. But do you know that you can minimize pollution by recycling plastic?
Plastic can be melted and molded into new products such as packaging materials, kitchenware, and countertops. However, melting plastic wastes produces fumes that can affect humans, animals, and plants’ life. Also, the process can generate carbon emissions, which can lead to global warming.
If you implement tips on how to melt plastic without pollution, you will ensure your safety and that of your neighbors, family members, and the environment.
4 Tips on How to Melt Plastic without Pollution
1. Clean plastic before melting
Many plastic containers hold cleaning products, cosmetics products, and gardening chemicals such as pesticides. When exposed to high temperatures, they can release toxic fumes, which can cause health issues and a lasting effect. That’s why it is advisable to clean the plastics properly before melting.
2. Use a heat gun to melt plastic
A heat gun is an effective plastic melting machine. It features high settings, which heats at 538°C, and low settings of about 260°C. This means that you can adjust the settings according to the melting point of plastic bottles.
When using the heat gun, it is good to wear protective gear such as gloves and respirators to filter fumes out. Also, perform the procedure on a heat-resistant surface such as concrete block or metal sheeting to avoid damaging countertops or other products.
Also read: Technology to reduce plastic pollution
3. Use chemicals to melt plastic
Chemicals can be used to dissolve plastics. You can mix a solvent solution or purchase chemicals such as acetone found in your local stores. However, this product cannot melt all plastics.
Hence, it is good to perform a test before beginning the process. Start by placing a small amount of the solution on the plastic. If it melts, you can use it for many plastic containers. For instance, you can ideally use acetone to melt ABS, a commonly used plastic.
Here is how to melt plastic using acetone
- Place the plastic in a metal or any non-plastic container
- Wear gloves and goggles because acetone can cause eyes and skin irritation
- Perform the procedure away from an ignition source or open flame
- Pour an adequate amount of acetone on the plastic to ensure that it is covered completely
- Remove the plastic from acetone using tweezers and rinse it with cold water
- When still malleable, mold the plastic into a shape of your choice
4. Use an oven to melt your plastic waste
Another way of melting plastic without pollution is by using an oven. The good thing with an oven is that you can adjust the settings to lower heat. This will prevent the plastic waste from burning and producing smoke.
Here are 4 tips for melting plastic materials in an oven
- Preheat the oven at around 150°C
- Ensure that the room is well ventilated to avoid inhaling the fumes. Also, turn on the exhaust fan and wear a mask.
- Remove the plastic immediately it melts to prevent it from burning
- Allow the melted plastic to cool, cut it, and mold it to your desired shape
Also read: Pros and cons of bio plastics
FAQs on How to Melt Plastic without Pollution
Can you melt plastic using boiling water?
Have you ever placed steaming hot water on a plastic bottle? Maybe your biggest fear was to destroy the product. Like other products, various plastic materials have different melting points.
Although the melting point of the plastic varies, most plastic products can withstand the maximum temperature of water at 100 degrees Celsius.
For instance, polyethylene terephthalate has a melting point of 255 degrees Celsius. Also, most plastic melts above 130 degrees Celsius. In this case, it can be challenging to melt many types of plastic using boiling water. Only one type of plastic (polyvinyl chloride plastics) melts at below 75 degrees Celsius.
Is melting plastic bad for the environment?
Heating plastics can release gases such as dioxin, mercury, and polychlorinated biphenyls into the air. These gases can pose a threat to human health, animals, and vegetation. So, should you consider melting or disposing of the plastics?
Melting plastic is a good way of reducing pollution. When you throw it on the ground or water bodies, it can be harmful to the environment, and clearing it can be challenging. In this case, you need to implement tips for melting plastic without pollution.
For instance, the use of chemicals to melt plastics produces little amount of toxic gases. All you need is to follow safety precautions when performing the procedure. Besides, you can implement other safe methods to reduce plastic pollution.
Here are 4 ways to minimize plastic pollution
1. Purchase items in bulk to avoid a lot of plastics
2. Stop buying water
3. Cook more to avoid packed food
4. Consider non-plastic products such as metal water bottles
How can you melt plastic without fumes?
You can create a lot of things from recycled plastic bottles. For instance, you can remold a plastic to create a detergent bottle. And a good way to perform this is by melting plastic.
This method will allow you to re-shape the container in a style of your choice. However, melting can produce fumes that can be harmful to human health. But the good thing is that there are tips to help you melt without pollution.
You can implement approaches such as:
1. Melt the plastic containers in an open or well-ventilated place to avoid inhaling the fumes
2. Place the plastic in a metal container, then put it in the oven for about 2-4 minutes. This will allow the plastic to melt without burning.
A good way of recycling plastics is by using heat to melt and mold them into a new shape and design. But burning plastics can produce fumes that affect the lungs and respiratory systems.
But if you learn how to melt plastic without pollution, you will ensure everyone’s safety. For instance, melting plastic at the right temperature and duration of time will prevent burning and smoke.