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Recycle Plastic to make Mesh for Plastering Answered

I made my whole house out of recycled nylon fishnet and cement.  The tuna factory where I got the free fishnet moved off the island, and I have no more source for plasterable plastic mesh material.   I like plastic mesh because it doesn't rust.  Recycling some of our plastic trash, which is a huge world-wide problem, would be great.  Furthermore, given plasterable trash sacks one can make "trash rocks" ( https://www.instructables.com/id/TRASH-ROCKS-Eliminate-Unrecyclable-Trash ).   One can build with trash rocks; putting unrecyclable trash to good use as fill material inside the trash rocks. 

If somebody could come up with a way to melt down and somehow convert plastic into mesh material, it could be a big step toward putting our trash to good use.  Mesh in the form of ready-to-use trash sacks would simplify the making of trash rocks.  In flat sheets, the mesh could be used to make walls, floors, and roofs.

Fishnet stretches in all directions, so it is good for making dome shapes.  Some meshes are more rigid and are only good for flat projects, or cylinders.  If the mesh was more rigid, one might buy ready-made, light-weight forms for things like outdoor furniture, take them home and plaster them on-location. 

Someone more chemistry oriented than I am might be able to figure this one out.  It seems to me there might be a lot of commercial potential in this, too. 



Nov 17, 2014. 6:54 AM
Recycled HDPE bricks

Building bricks for housing using recycled HDPE sounds very interesting. To make it viable you'd need to do it on an industrial scale and have lots of plastic on hand. I don't know Bay island but if they are swimming in waste plastic then maybe. You'd also need to estimate the cost of the energy to heat the plastic. It is conceivable to build a large 3d printer that can directly print the walls of the house. I've seen some on the 'net only but they can print maybe single rooms I think around 14 feet in diameter (kinda like a plastic yurt). I wonder how you would have to coat the plastic to provide UV protection. An interesting set of problems. I wish you the best in this effort.

Soda bottles are tough stuff. Grocery bags, not so much. Nylon is very strong. I'd be sure that whatever material you use has some strength so concrete wont be raining down on you later.

YES! Also Please COME UP WITH a way to recycle plastic water bottles INTO LITTLE BRICKS OR CANES so my starving and dying islanders can build little houses with them that will stand up to hurricanes better than the little cardboard shacks they are trying to survive in now....PLEASE .... Help me HELP THEM!

When you figure out how to make this MESH, it will improve the lives of thousands of the poor I live with and minister to.

We ONLY have raw materials and "gargabe" to be creative with...ain't no HOME DEPOT around us!

Does this help? https://www.instructables.com/id/HomemadePlastic/

Fascinating. I've got to try it sometime.

I had a good time with this using a can, over a fire, with Vise Grips...... very high tech! (not recommended for nice hands)

Hi Ma Barley,

You have a noble challenge there. Unfortunately, I am not a chemist, and don't know the answer. Maybe, you should contact DuPont, or some other petrochemical company that might take an interest in your predicament.

There is already a system that can convert plastic, somehow through heat and pressure back I to fuel, lubricant, and ash. A search on the internet should possibly find it.

Any chemical conversion would probably need equipment, or energy that you may not have available to you.

It sounds like you are talking about poor people who independently can not construct hurricane-proof shelters. Perhaps they could collectively afford a community shelter.

My forte is cement. Given a bunch of plastic bottles and cement, I'm sure I could build, or tell you how to build, hurricane-proof igloo-like shelters, if you have the sand.

I will have to research the island you are on.

If chunks were heated and pressed out in to a very rough mat that might work, bonding plaster will stick to just about anything any way the difficulty would be making the mat porous enough or with enough holes in it to keep it from separating.

I read an article somewhere on the web about a guy in Africa that paid kids to bring in bags and he then used them with sand I think and created plastic I beams or "wood" post's to use in construction. I always thought this was a real good idea but here in US the safty polise would shut you down before you could make it profitable. I think on a small scale projects this would be great, like frame work for sheads or greenhouses. I'm sure if you look around on Google you'll find it and lots of ideas this could be used for. If I find it again I'll post up a link for ya.

He liquefied the plastic and mixed it with sand? That doesn't sound like any "wood" I would want to run my saw blades through. Thanks for the feedback.

You would use a masonry blade to cut it, this is an effective material he's talking about. Used for walkways, fencing, etc.


6 years ago

The plastic smithing project is one way you could make bricks.


This will work with recycling number 6 materials, polystyrene cups, packing materials, which will melt or form below the boiling temperature of water. Polystyrene will not do well in the sun over periods of time. Polypropylene, number 5, is more durable but melts at a higher than water boiling temperature.

Making the mesh is a complex extrusion project, not nearly so quick.

Really, such a fantastic task! It is best way to reused waste material like plastic and nylon. Plastic and nylon are rust proof, so that provides long life to buildings.

Styrofoam recycling