The plastic we work with is LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene), found in carrier bags, bubble wrap and film packaging. It is astounding how much of it is in circulation - millions of tonnes are produced each year, and global demand for virgin plastic is still growing.
Unfortunately many applications of plastics are commonly regarded as disposable or for single use. Weez & Merl want to challenge throwaway culture by showing how much potential this plastic has. LDPE is a wonderful material to work with by hand, and by making the most of its ability to be endlessly remelted and repurposed, we can create truly sustainable products.
All of the LDPE we collect and recycle is from local businesses in Brighton & Hove. The overwhelming support for this scheme is testament to public awareness of plastic waste issues.
HOW WE RECYCLE
After collecting the LDPE, paper labels, tape and glue strips are removed before it is melted in an oven. Once melted, the plastic has a dough-like consistency which allows for coloured carrier bags to be added and kneaded into the molten material. It is at this point the marbling effect is developed.
When the plastic ‘dough’ has been marbled, it is quickly compression moulded using a hydraulic press - the plastic flows easily into detail on moulds. It is then left to cool to retain its new shape.
The pressed sheets can be cut and worked using common workshop machinery and tools. As LDPE can be endlessly remelted, none of the off-cuts created during this process go to waste.
Rough edges left from the cutting stage can be finished to an extremely high quality by machine and hand sanding. Even the dust created during these processes can be remelted, as it is collected by our dust extractor. There is no waste or by-product; nothing is too small to be left behind.