Introduction: Plastic Molding With Grocery Bags

Picture of Plastic Molding With Grocery Bags

I hated seeing all these perfectly good plastic bags go to waste, so I decided I would figure out a way to reuse them. In this instructable I'll show you how to use old bags to mold plastic parts.

Step 1: Gather Materials

Picture of Gather Materials

All you need is:

Plastic bags

A mold to cast

A large open space

Step 2: Preparation

Picture of Preparation

Twist up a plastic bag and hold it with the pliers

Light the bag on fire


Step 3: Molding

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After a few second molten drops of plastic will drip off of the end. Let these drip over your mold. Continue until the mold is full. It may take more than one bag. Let the plastic and the mold cool for at least five minutes

Step 4: Done!

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Thats it! After it has cooled take it out of your mold. You might want to use a knife or a torch to smooth out some of the edges.

Don't forget to rate and vote

If you have any questions feel free to comment.

Enjoy responsibly!


funny1048 (author)2015-10-18

this plastic is really cool but from experience with molding plastic, there are a couple of different plastics that are out there the most common one being hdpe in fact the bags you just melted are hdpe. the good thing about this plastic is the least toxic and should not release fumes if you dont overheat it. also overheating the plastic will break apart the polymer molecules and drastically weaken the material and will. the way i melt it is with a toaster oven set to 330 - 340 degrees farenheit and i put in a lot of bags at least 40 because each bag only gives you about 5 grams of plastic. and keep in mind hdpe plastic which is the same as the bags will not become liquid when melted which is normal it will become a sort of dough like consistency so you simply take oven proof gloves knead the plastic like dough reheat and then clamp it down between two sheets of plywood in my case i had a more dedicated mold i made with a rectangular baking pan and a cover i made of plywood that you can clamp down after about an hour of cooling i unclamped the mold and had a solid sheet of plastic which was completely unbreakable and is even stronger than wood. in additition to plastic bags there are many more things that are made of hdpe including milk jugs, detergent bottles, 5 gallon buckets, water bottle caps all of these can be melted down. if you look up "melt hdpe" on google there are many tutorials explainining the process better than me.

gardengeek (author)2014-03-20

Mine just burned up no molten plastic

!KnexMaster! (author)2014-03-16

Is the plastic very rigid?

chingchong (author)2008-06-03

It would be green if u use an oven if your on an green powerplant grid. like solar power or nuclear power.

servant74 (author)chingchong2008-06-18

Wind, PV, and other solar are the only 'real green'. Nukes just change the problem and push working out a solution for it back a few years. Sofar the good folks on NV still don't want the nuke waste site in their state where the feds have built a nice 'disposal site' in a mountain. Anyone else want it?

shakra (author)servant742008-11-15

the fact that natural resources are mined out of the earth to produce the nuclear energy is the part that is not green. Killing national parks, chopping down trees and mining are not green.

mazeka.14 (author)shakra2008-12-10

nuclear energy is green!!

thermoelectric (author)mazeka.142008-12-11

No it ain't, You won't be thinking that when one of the reactors mysteriously go KA-BOOM and kill thousands of people

Here's a question. How many nuclear power plants are there in the world? About 400, and plans to build more. How many times has one had an accident? Seven or less in fifty years. How many times have you turned on the news to see a nuclear power plant disaster? Probably never. They can have accidents, but it happens very rarely.

liliamar (author)Ceiling cat2013-03-01

But when they do, thousands are dying. so, not immidiatly but even today a very high ratio of malformed babys are borne in tschernobyl and hiroshima.
And again: the plants have to be maintenanced for 70.000 years. How long will it take until the next warlord is seeking a good aim? How long until the next earthquake? Naive.

twopussez (author)liliamar2014-02-06

Chernobyl was right without the additional ts prefix! LOL! 3yrs ago my Niece and I took a train journey. Looking up our return trip on a location was absent from the drop-down menu of Scottish stations; Glasgow. 2008 I could hear the sirens of but never saw any of lots of 999 vehicles going to/from the city centre. *Ive just been shown imagery which strongly suggests 2 warheads aimed at us*. 2011 Re-telling my story of how after a shopkeeper pointed out the Till Total of the preceding customer was $9.11 I'd gone to an auctionhouse to find myself registered, Seller #911, I turned round to find I was standing in front of a man from 911 Emergency Breakdown. "Twin Towers" beer bottles/collapsing building Tom/Natalie; The Syndicate2 The sea level low camera angles...the large canister mime-lifted by one of the Santander red outfitted Hospital Dancers... Truth hidden within fiction.

twopussez (author)Ceiling cat2014-02-06

or they just keep very quiet about it, like you would if you'd just caused the immediate or 30yr-delayed deaths of millions of people or caused their babies to be born with serious genetic defects or who are sterile as adults :)

Haven't you heard of the Chernobly Disaster?

That is an nuclear power plant accident, and that CAN happen. Who is to say it won't happen again?

I stink you need more research from independent sources, not the onion. just sayin...

I saw one "The Onion" with the headline, "Hero Girl Strips in Window Again!"

Actually I have heard of the Chernobyl Disaster, very much so. But that was one event of only seven. And it was the direct result of people making very bad decisions, not of a lack of the reactors safety. These accidents are possible, just not very probable.

You even said it! These accidents are possible, just not very probable.

Even if they aren't probable, They can still happen

well i hope you don't ever go out in a car, because even though it isn't probable, traffic fatalities HAPPEN. Or fly in a plane, or go swimming, or use the shower, or walk downstairs, or cross the street, or...

lotusduck (author)unseen wombat2011-08-23

I think traffic fatalities are pretty probable, add other casualties and it's a real concern. Drive long enough and you will at least witness such an injury. But the worst case scenario in driving a car is causing a pile-up and causing the death of 10-40 people and perhaps many more injuries, the worst case scenario for any given nuclear power plant is much worse, and not just on-site, but cancer for everyone six countries downwind of you sort of bad news. Plants on lakes are one thing--we have a lot of nuclear power plants on the Mississippi river, like this one
Terrorists don't tend to think in those terms, attacking symbolic targets primarily, but if we had a nuclear meltdown near the start of the Mississippi, the environmental and agricultural impacts could be really, really bad.

Of course there are dangers in everything, but that's not an argument against caution. I use the stairs, but I keep my hand on the railing.

Ceiling cat (author)Ceiling cat2009-09-07

And those accident mostly, if not always, occur when someone make a big mistake or if just making a very bad decision: the result of human error, not of the power plant's lack of safety, which is negligably greater than non-existent.

kbawcutt (author)Ceiling cat2011-08-18

Yes but compared to the amount of deaths that occur each year from "accidents" in the coal industry Nuclear power is a much nicer alternative. Heck even pv panels have nickel and lead etc. That needs to be mined from the ground. Nuclear power (fission at least) is not an end game solution but it certainly will give us a few years to make other "green" power sources suck less.

What happens when something happens and an chain reaction is started?

catastrophic power excursion (the chain reaction grew out of control, similar to the initial stage in the detonation of a nuclear weapon). This caused a steam explosion, followed by a second (chemical, not nuclear) explosion from the ignition of generated hydrogen mixed with air, which tore the top from the reactor and its building, and exposed the reactor core.

kasengut (author)Ceiling cat2011-03-13

Now, look at Japan.... Reactors exploding one after another due to nobody's fault.
And one person talking about an accident in a plant at Kent, which never got reported....

xc1024 (author)kasengut2011-07-27

Japan disasters were due to the tsunami and cost-cutting. The last one resulted in poorer quality materials, poorer maintenance and made the job of the tsunami easier.
If people were smart enough to see that you CANNOT cut corners, AT ALL, while constructing and maintaining nuclear power plants, these accidents would have much less effect. Even if an accident would happen, properly implemented safety measures would reduce any risk to a manageable level.

mazeka.14 (author)thermoelectric2008-12-12

They only go "KA-BOOM" when a bunch of soviets turn off the safety and try to do an unauthorized experiment.

thermoelectric (author)mazeka.142008-12-14

And that will start to happen very soon..... I think

mazeka.14 (author)thermoelectric2008-12-14

in other words you think Obama is a soviet?

thermoelectric (author)mazeka.142008-12-14

Well I don't know much about all that American #$@#, So I can't say for sure.

mazeka.14 (author)thermoelectric2008-12-16

I'm Canadian with a coward for a prime minister.

thermoelectric (author)mazeka.142008-12-16

Well Americans and Canadians are pretty much the same so.....

Just saying that there is no way a modern reactor would ever go "KA-BOOM". It is physically impossible.

I understand, but it there are still long term implications (physical security, long term spent fuel waste storage/recycling whether it is on site or elsewhere). I'm not opposed, but from what I see: no one answer is a perminant panacea.

Pazzerz (author)servant742009-03-31

The solution is mass dilution before deep burial. It's the condition we found it in, so, return it to the earth the same way.

MichaelAtOz (author)Pazzerz2012-01-07

Sort of like Japan has diluted it into the ocean...

Ashes to Ashes, dust to dust, dust to water, water to fish, fish to mouth, mouth to burial...

thermoelectric (author)Pazzerz2009-03-31


Nothing is impossible, Nothing.

235 ≠ 238

Yeah, Some things are just easier to do than others....

And doesn't that mean 235 is not equal to 238?

I was alluding to the fact that there is vastly less U-235 used in a nuclear reactor than critical mass (which is 52 kilograms of solid U-235) needed for a nuclear explosion. Most of the uranium used in power plants is U-238, which is not fissionable. However, meltdowns are still very dangerous. The only way a nuclear explosion will come from a power plant is if you bring a nuclear bomb into the plant and detonate it.

Ohhhhh, I didn't really mean explosion, I meant meltdown, I was just thinking about other things at that time....

elainek (author)thermoelectric2009-03-26

Despite the gov't assurances that it's all 'perfectly safe' - the insurance companies have a cap on how much they'll pay out "if something does go wrong" The way the weather's going nuts, anything from huge storms to flooding - along with terrorist-type folks - having radioactive waste 'stored' anywhere is not fool-proof... and depends some on which way the wind blows as to how much an individul would absorb. 3-mile island was "perfectly safe", too.

trevor3693 (author)elainek2010-04-11

and that was last year there have been at least 5 major earthquakes this year!!!!

Pazzerz (author)Jonny Katana2009-03-31

Your critical mass is about 44 kilos too high.

Pazzerz (author)Nunavutnewsrules2009-03-31

Nope. Nada. You need a critical mass. Reactors aren't built with a concentration of fuel to give it that critical mass. It's spread out, encased, and cooled, with controls that shut down the activity if a failure takes place.

dabooge (author)thermoelectric2009-09-17

Americans and Canadians are not the same. I'm guessing you haven't been to either country.

thermoelectric (author)dabooge2009-09-17

Eh. They are still people so I will consider Canucks and Yankies the same until you prove me otherwise

Canucks know how to drive in snow.
In Colorado, each snowstorm is a new event in peoples lives, because they have never seen snow before.
And then they speak of short-term memory loss as though its somebody else that suffers from it.
I just wish they would all go back to where they came from.  Or maybe 'home' kicked them out for stupidity reasons?

Oh, I get it! He's just trolling us! Thar's the only explanation! :D

liliamar (author)mazeka.142013-03-01

this is a typical 'devil may care' sense of using the word green and nuclear energy in one sentence. The plants and the wast needs 70.000 to 100.000 year of maintenance.
When ( and I'm using this word instead of 'if') the cooling-System fails, the fuel rods will get hot and it comes to core meltdown, the maximum credible accident. We are living 1.400 km away from Tschernobyl but we were not allowed to eat mushrooms we found in our area for 10 years because they buffer the fallout.
A guy above said that there is very little waste (which i don't even believe since the containers they deliver to Gorleben every other year are huge and many - and its getting sweating hot if you are tied down by the police 10 meters away... in a cold octobre night), but you surely never heard of Litwinjenko, killed with very small dose of polonium.
I guess the folk of USA is so greenwashed with the radioactive matters because they dropped the bombs over Hiroshima and now saying 'that stuff isn't that bad at all'

Just throwing it out there, but our local nuclear powerplant has stored all of its nuclear waste on site. So far i dont see anything wrong with the enviorment in this area.

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