HDPE - Simple and Easy to Recycle and Repurpose

Discussion in 'Bushcraft' started by Bear, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Aloha Monkeys,

    I did a search and didn't find anything like this so I thought I would post this as this is a great thing to try or at least keep in mind.... should you ever need something or a material like this.

    Food containers, caps, buckets etc... into usable sheets, boards or blocks for you to use your imagination on? I had no idea it was this easy!

    This type of HDPE or High Density Polyethylene (look for the number 2 in the recycle triangle) is used in a lot of food and manufacturing applications and can be somewhat pricey to buy by the board or block.... all of us have these lying around or in the recycle bin...

    I plan to give this a try but the applications for light, impact resistant, food grade materials that you can easily form, machine, grind, sand, file or shape is pretty endless.... simple tools, a toaster oven and some parchment paper... sheesh....

    There are literally a ton of videos on youtube on this but I think this one is about the easiest and simplest to follow. You just gotta love some young people and their resourcefulness and ingenuity.

    Hope this helps... I'll post my own adventures with this in this thread....

    Have a great day Monkeys!

    Take Care and God Bless,

    GOG, Tully Mars, Yard Dart and 5 others like this.
  2. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Be aware that some plastics can be dangerous if overheated. I think that overheating may be more dangerous than burning, but I am no expert. The polyethylenes are quite safe, but some of the plastics can be bad. Worked in a plastic molding plant 40 years ago as a foreman-mechanic and we did not allow women who were or might get pregnant to work on the poly vinyl chlorides or around some of the coloring concentrates. There are dozens of different plastics and hundreds of color concentrates and it takes an expert to know what is safe. Clear HDPE plastic water, milk etc jugs are safe and a very valuable resource that melts at a low temp, can't use them for baby bottles as they would melt if sterilized under pressure.
    Yard Dart, kellory, Dont and 3 others like this.
  3. Aeason

    Aeason Monkey

    Great post, this could be very useful for a lot of applications, thanks
    pearlselby and Bear like this.
  4. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    Very cool, @Bear! So HDPE remains food safe even after the heating to that point?

    I am looking forward to seeing what you are going to make!
    kellory, Motomom34 and Bear like this.
  5. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Thanks @duane for the expertise...

    That's the reason I never ever fool around with PVC even thought there are tons of tutorials and videos on repurposing PVC pipe into things like bows... I don't remember the gas it gives off but it is very very toxic.

    This young man goes through how to tell unmarked lids and bottles but also does not recommend using anything not marked with a 2 in the recycle triangle... and I won't mess with anything ....

    Also recommend a toaster oven over the house oven... use it outside with lots of ventilation in case your oven thermo is off... 175 degrees is the target... and I always keep a separate thermometer in the ovens as well as check with a laser to make sure it's pretty close...

    Good info and thanks for posting the warnings....

  6. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Good Question @Hanzo ... I don't know... will need to research that a bit... spoons, forks and bowls etc... pretty cheap so I wouldn't mess with that until I know....
    kellory and Hanzo like this.
  7. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Spear point covers, and knife sheaths....:rolleyes: might try it myself. (I still need to design a sheath for Thoughtless.
    Bear and pearlselby like this.
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