Filament with Yogurt cups: is it a successful experiment?

Every day we consume a large amount of plastic without realizing it and the number of waste that is created is impressive.

So much waste even just for a yogurt-based breakfast gave us an idea: is it possible to recycle yogurt cups and turn them into new filament? 

We immediately set to work to answer this question, here’s how it went:

First of all we ate a lot of yogurt and collected cups (both white and blue) that have been washed. The weight of the pods will turn into the weight of your coil, so before proceeding with the experiment make sure you collect enough.

Most of the yogurts that we find on the market are packaged inside Polystyrene (PS), but it is always better to check the codes that we find on the packaging, to avoid mixing materials and compromising the success of the experiment. Polystyrene is a material that was often used for disposable plastic products such as cutlery, plates, plastic cups, straws… but fortunately today it is no longer possible to put them on the European markets. This material is still used for yogurt containers and for most of the plastic cups that come out of coffee machines in public places.

Since these plastic pods are still used in our daily life, we decided to carry out this experiment with all the positivity possible, hoping you will be able to recycle them easily.

The experiment:

 

Shredding pods Shredding pods Plastic flakes

After collecting the yogurt cups, we chopped them inside the Felfil Shredder (Tip: better chop them twice to have small pieces of plastic).
We dried the plastic for about 7/8 hours at 60 ° C. After drying, the material seemed ready for a first extrusion but … it turned out to be unsuccessful: the pieces of plastic were too thin and light and could not enter the tank consistently.

Luckily we didn’t give up on the first obstacle and tried to heat the scales with a hot air gun, to make them more compact.

Making filament 3d printing 3d printed combs

We put all the material in Felfil Evo and set the parameters according to the type of material we were using: 230 ° C at 7rpm, with a 2.85 nozzle.

The result was a filament above our expectations and ready for printing. This shows that with a little perseverance and imagination it is also possible to recycle everyday objects to create small 3D printing projects.

The material is similar to ABS so, to be printed, it requires high temperatures and a heated plate.

With the filament obtained you can have fun by printing all the objects you want; for our projects we often take inspiration from Thingiverse.com and this time we have printed a comb! If you also want to print it we leave you the link here.

By following all the steps we have illustrated, the experiment will surely be a success!

It is an excellent project to be proposed in schools by educating on recycling and involving children both in the collection of yogurt cups and in the extrusion process.

We are very satisfied with the result obtained and that we were able to easily recycle the yogurt pots, obtaining a new object from plastic waste. We are sure you will succeed too!

We already have other experiments in mind with recycled materials, and we can’t wait to show them to you! Do you have any suggestions?

 

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