A group of Royal College of Art grads in London were flummoxed by the process used to recycle plastics, so they took matters into their own hands and used a homespun method inspired by cotton candy. Polyfloss is a foam-like material created by melting and spinning plastic with centrifugal forces. The recycled plastics can then be pressed and formed into a variety of everyday objects like bowls, vases, textiles, lampshades and more.
The Polyfloss Factory is a project which aims to to reduce waste on a personal level while creating unique homemade objects out of recycled plastics. The process of recycling plastics is complicated and usually requires lots of know-how and expensive equipment. But plastics, such as polypropylene, can be melted and reformed into new products, so a team of RCA grads, consisting of Emile De Visscher, Chritophe Machet, Audrey Gaulard, and Nick Paget, decided to take matters into their own hands. Taking inspiration from how cotton candy is made, the team took old plastic objects and then created a new material that they could form into new objects.
Polyfloss is made by shredding plastic waste and putting it into a rotating oven, which melts the plastic. Using centrifugal force, the molten plastic is projected through holes in the center of the drum and then spun out, cooled and hardened. The result is a fibrous, spongy material that can be formed into new objects with molds and heat. It can also be easily remelted again and again to create new Polyfloss. The Polyfloss Factory team has been taking their technique on the road and has shown recently at Milan Salone and is traveling with their personal recycler to show off the technique. Coming up they will unveil a large lobby installation for a corporate client made from more than 1,000 discarded keyboards. They also have plans to sell their machines to other makers in order to spread the technology for artisan recycling.
Images ©Polyfloss Factory