Project Plastic

In project plastic, Lotte joins hands with her neighbourhood to tackle the ever growing plastic problem. She does this by finding ways in which she can recycle the neighbourhood’s plastic trash while staying safe and at home during the pandemic.


I have always found plastic a very fascinating material. It is so strong yet so destructive. Just think about the fact that all the plastic ever made is still present on this earth today. Ideally, we should stop producing plastic and find alternative ways to package food, products and so on.
However, in the meantime, we have to find a solution to tackle the plastic that is already present on our planet right now.
In Project Plastic my goal was to find a way in which I, together with my neighbours, would be able to recycle plastic trash at home (very Covid-19 proof).
In the end, we came up with a fairly easy way to turn your plastic trash into festive garlands, because who doesn’t love a bit of festivity during these saddening times?

Plastic trash in my neighbourhood


The first method I tried was melting HDPE plastic using a sandwich iron. I had heard of this method before, so after some research I felt like it was good to give it a try.
I did not end up using this method, because it was almost impossible to get the plastic to the right temperature to have it melt together nicely. This would mean I would have to use an oven, but I read this could be dangerous as an oven can get way too hot which will lead to the HDPE melting too much and producing toxic gasses.
For this project, I had set myself a couple of rules and guidelines. One of them was that it had to be completely safe and easy to use, so that is why I let go of this method.

Second method

The second way in which I tried to recycle plastic was through melting it using an iron. It took a bit of getting used to (read: me burning my hands) but eventually I got the hang of it and realised this was a fairly easy way to melt plastic.
The next step was to think about how this could be used. I had already thought of ways to incorporate my neighbours recycled plastic back into our neighbourhood, preferably to be able to use it during our next annual neighbourhood feast.
I experimented with the bend-ability of the plastic sheets by trying to make a bag out of them. As you can see, it worked quite nicely. However, a bag is not what I am going after since it cannot be shared by a community together.

The idea

Eventually, I made this drawing that illustrates the idea. Starting on the top left, it shows all the items you will need to start this project. All items are most often already found inside your average home. It shows what you will make, what you can make out of it and what the purpose of the project is.

How it works

How it works is: I posted a tutorial that shows how you can make the plastic sheets at home. My neighbours go ahead and make those sheets at their own homes and hand them in at my house. I turn the sheets into garlands and we use them for our feast.
Below, you’ll find the tutorial, pictures of neighbours that made sheets and a couple of photographs of the first finished garland.

The tutorial

The tutorial

If you would like to know more about this project or have any further questions, please feel free to contact me anytime through the contact page on this website.

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