Author Options:

Any ideas how to REUSE these film / foil / sheet ? To give them a second "life"? Answered

Hi ...

recently I've started a new job in printing industry and I'm crying everyday on the waste that is produced by this industry :( I would like to ask, if you could suggest anything, so that this waste = sheets could be reused ? See the attached pictures please.

They are 900x1200mm (35" x 47") ... 0.16mm thick but very strong. The closest how to describe it  = X RAY sheet in bigger size.  As mentioned, they are very strong, durable, NON biodegradable !!! 

Could you think of anything ? Thank you in advance for any ideas.

Zed ...


The forums are retiring in 2021 and are now closed for new topics and comments.
Jack A Lopez
Jack A Lopez

4 years ago

Dumb question: What kind of plastic is this?

I mean if it were something common like PET, or boPET,



then you could probably put it in the same recycling bin as your plastic soda bottles.

Too easy, right? You said you wanted to reuse it somehow.

I dunno. Maybe it could be made into boxes, for to use for storage.


Perhaps a lampshade?


Or a tote bag?


Although, my intuition is telling me that cylindrical, or conical, shapes are going to be easier, just because of the way this stuff rolls. So I am guessing things like cylindrical containers, lampshades, wastebaskets, are going to be easiest.

If it turns out your plastic really is PET, or boPET, maybe you could de-polymerize it, and turn it back into ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid?


Regarding the question of, what kind of plastic is it, somewhere around here I had a flowchart for a series of low-tech tests for identifying unknown plastic,


although those tests are kind of messy, and malodorous. It might be just as easy to ask the supplier of your plastic film: What kind of plastic it is made of? Can it be recycled?

Usually, if it, the artifact, whatever it is, made of a recycleable plastic, then that's something the manufacturer will like to brag about.

Conversely, If it is a kind of plastic, or mixture of plastics, that's really NOT recyclable, basically guaranteed landfill filler, then they tend to be kind of quiet about that fact.


4 years ago

If I understand correctly than these sheets have the old prints as negatives still on them?
This might be a legal problem unless you use them only for yourself.
I would do some tests with the sheets to check what they are good for:
Can they be heated and formed? Would be great for vacuum moulds...
Does normal glue or even silicone refuse to stick to it? Great for all sorts of projects when working with glue or as a cover for the work bench.
Can the black be removed to get a clean and clear sheet? Would be even better.
For the clea parts I could think of screen protectors or covers for displays in electronics projects.
If the stuff can be glued properly and painted then it might be good for model making as well.
And if the black is permanent and the foil heat resistant I could think of solar applications....


4 years ago

I am trying to figure out just what it is that you have, the pictures are good though. So are these the left over from things that are cut out? Or is it a type of transfer medium in which the only important part is the ink that is transferred off the plastic to paper or something else?

The first thing that came to my mind was a recent thing on making thick sheet plastic from thin plastic store bags. They take the store/grocery bags and flatten them out and iron them together building up a solid piece of plastic sheet material. This is done with a regular clothes iron.

Depending on what you have in terms of plastic it might be possible to do something like that. Heat bond a bunch of sheets together to make a thick piece of plastic board that could be used for all kinds of projects.