How To Recycle HDPE Plastic The Easy Way

Turning old milk jugs and bottle caps into useable stock for making. In this short video I process a 2 milk bottles and about half a dozen bottle tops into a 1 1/2″ x 2″ x 5″ turning block.

You just as easily press this into sheet material for use in box inlays or scroll saw art. The possibilities are endless. The total processing time was under an hour from bottle to blank! Less than waiting for a glue up.

The result is a stunningly colorful blank!

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41 thoughts on “How To Recycle HDPE Plastic The Easy Way”

  1. Hey Peter This was super cool! So we go through a lot of plastic in my household and we have a privacy fence outback that is starting to dilapidate. I was wanting to replace them with recycle plastic boards But they’re super crazy expensive! I was interested in making my own boards out of our own plastic. Is there a way to do what you did here on a larger scale? Like large enough to make an 8 foot tall 6 inch wide quarter inch thick fence panel kind of larger? And of course some 4 x 4‘s? The colors would also look really cool I think and really bring some life to a drab thing like a privacy fence. Tya, Sarah

  2. Hi Peter, I was wondering if after melting down milk bottles (HDPE) is it food safe? I.E do you think I could use it to make a chopping board out of? Cheers 🙂

  3. We love this how-to! That's essentially all it takes to make poly lumber and poly furniture! Just add dye, form it into boards, and build with it.

  4. If plan to do a lot of such projects and are worried about using your expensive blender or toaster oven, take a stroll through a thrift shop (Goodwill for example). I wonder about using a food processor for shredding (grating) or chopping. How fun is this?! Gotta give it a try! Thanks.

  5. Hello Peter I like your example of melting down plastic into a block which can used for another purpose. I like the fact that you are coming up with a practical solution which can be used in many ways.

  6. I own a motorcycle & ATV shop. So, I have a ton of old broken plastic off 4 wheelers I saved when I was planning on building a screw type extruder for injection molding.
    When it got to the point where I had to chip it up, as much as I needed I had to come up with a way to do alot of volume really fast.
    So, I tried my troy-bilt brush chipper.
    It made 1/2" or smaller chips out of the fenders like they were​ butter.
    I learned to put a garbage bag around the exit at the bottom so I didn't have anything to sweep up and I didn't contaminate the plastic with dirt from the floor.
    The styrene and other plastic that doesn't float or remelt well makes good material for French drains, hydroponics, aggregate that needs to be lightweight and not rust, polycrete, padding, and no telling what else.
    Once turning it from big fenders to small chips became easy, it was easy to find uses for the stuff. An electric chain saw works best for going from huge pieces to strips that the chipper likes to consume.
    I've used the recycled plastic to make bushings, knobs, lights, etc.
    It's great stuff…

  7. HI PETER. you could maybe use your blocks in a wood turner. some plastics melt in resin. i found that out by mistake when i put resin in a plastic container it started to melt. i had more containers with the same type of plastic. so i decided to melt them in the resin i then added the catalyst with pigment to colour it and made a chess set. the chess set was heavy and cured really well in 30 minuets. and was solid. i used old food containers that i thought i could store resin in.

  8. Awesome video, I was wondering if you would happen to know, if you could use this to replace the resin on surf boards?

  9. Could you put the melted plastic into Bartol Plastic white piping that's bern split down the side to help release the 'cool temp plastic '? They would be ideal for pen blanks or blind, light, fan pulls turned on a lathe! BRILLIANT 👍😁👌

  10. What about pressing it into a mold to make a prosthetic finger? A friend lost part of her pinkie to a MRSA infection, and has to be able to type on a laptop all the time because of her job. She can't afford an expensive prosthetic. But I feel that one can be created by molding plastic and using a halter of some kind to secure it on her hand when she needs to work in the computer.

  11. nice to know we can do this ourselves , just one precaution …sometimes plastic emits toxic fumes when melted..

  12. Just try to find a recycling center on google earth… spending hours separating garbage that ends up in a landfill, We Should All Be Ashamed of Ourselves.

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