Reusing Yogurt Pots
Making new household objects from our old yogurt pots.
Such an exciting story from Highgate School in North London.
We spotted a fabulous tweet from the Director of Design Technology and Engineering at Highgate School in North London, Andy Thomson, showing how the department was making new household objects from our used yogurt pots from their canteen. It was clear we needed to investigate further so we arranged a call to introduce ourselves and Andy very kindly invited us into the school to see how it all works.
Andy and his colleague Oliver were in the school canteen wondering where they could get some plastic from to make new household objects and give the used plastic a second chance, and Eureka! – why not use some of the 500 pots from our foodservice range that are eaten every day in the school canteen. Andy persuaded the catering staff to put the used pots in the dishwashers alongside the dirty plates and let him take them back to his workshop.
There was a problem with our used pots being put in the wrong recycling bins in the canteen when the yogurt had been eaten, so Andy and his team designed and created this cover for the bin so that only our pots could be put into it. So resourceful and so clever!!
So now they had lots of clean useable plastic, it was time for the next step.
HOW IT WORKS
The plastic pots are shredded into flakes by tipping them into a shredder – you can see a pile of them in the photo here – and then the flakes are either placed on a tray and put into a pressurised heating press that forms them into flat sheets or put into a wonderful old hand operated machine (dating from 1963) and injection moulded into a metal mould. After a bit of heavy turning on the handle (and we do mean heavy!), Hey Presto! you have a brand new object. The two options at the moment are combs or dog tags.
These are the combs produced by injection moulding. The pots are sorted into the different colours so you get different coloured combs or dog tags. The ingredients and product details are printed directly onto our foodservice pots, which makes them much easier to use in this process, and on the sheets, if you look carefully, you can still see the writing! Love it.
So what happens next? We are talking to Andy about getting some new moulds for them to make some more objects, so watch this space.
In the meantime, if you would like to see Andy explaining how it all works do look at this clip on our You Tube channel.