Introduction: Vac-Forming Bioplastics! :)
For my uni project this year, I started off with the main problem of 'Food Waste in Australia' and trying to find a fun way to utilise our food waste! I started exploring bioplastic recipes and after a semester of testing and setting/forming multiple recipes, I came to one that could be vacuum-formed!
(You can make your own vacuum-former at home by cutting up and drilling sheets of MDF and popping a hold in the side so your vacuum hose can fit into it).
Below are some tutorial-style videos so you can see my progress, or even so you can try this at home yourself! Enjoy! :)
Firstly: Make the Bioplastic
2 Banana Peels (chopped)
2 cups Water (boiled)
2 Potatoes (peeled) OR 1 tbsp Starch
4 tbsp Water (room temp)
1 tsp Glycerine
1 tsp Vinegar
Watch this video!
(Note: if you don't have potato peels to spare and want to skip the process of making your own starch, you can use pre-purchased starch)
For more experimentation and fun, double or triple this recipe to make 2-3 sheets of bioplastic.
Secondly: Have Fun Vacuum-Forming it!
Unless you have a pre-purchased vacuum former, you will have to heat the bioplastic sheet in the oven to soften it and make it formable. I set my oven to 180 degrees celcius and put it in for 7-10 minutes to heat up. I would then transfer the sheet directly on to the male-die (which I made out of potato in the following video - inspired by the FormBox) whilst your home vacuum is on.
I hope you enjoyed viewing my process of vacuum-forming bioplastic and I'd love to see if you guys create anything with this recipe! :)
Please note: the plastic only holds for a few days as it does start to degrade quickly since it's made out of all-natural ingredients. The plastic is not waterproof but is great for short-term containers, test-moulding and creating one-off casts.