Soften Plastic Recycling to Flatten

Using gas or electric stove, hover your food plastic packaging over the flame or ring for a short while, at a distance not to harm your hands. Let the plastic become soft. Put it onto a work surface and then, using a silicone pot mat, quickly flatten it. This routine has significantly reduced the bulk and I now only need to take it to the recycle centre every 2 to 3 weeks. Hard to do with some packaging but generally still able to reduce your bulk.


Editor's Note: Use caution when melting plastic. There could be toxic gases or even chance of a fire.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 255 Posts
January 23, 20170 found this helpful

I can see where that would flatten it, but as a firefighter/emt, this scares me. Plastic can poof very easily into flames and the burns from plastic often are 3rd degree, not to mention the chemicals that plastic off gasses when burning, including cyanide.

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January 24, 20170 found this helpful

I might just have to amend my practice on this advice...whilst I am very used to doing it albeit only for a dozen items at most perhaps per week, I am not familiar with the types of gasses which are emitted during the warming process. Thank you for this vital information .....I will investigate further. Everyone please take this advice before considering trying this short cut to recycling to reduce bulk. Thank you firefighter.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 969 Posts
January 29, 20170 found this helpful

I have to agree with the naysayers. Plastic becomes molten when it melts and can pop onto hands, face, eyes...

While I agree that things can be stored better, I would simply cut it down the sides and store it flat.

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