Since the year of 2020, our nation has been in a serious search for the best protection against the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Grocery stores, nail salons, schools, office spaces, hospitals, and retail shops alike were all looking for the perfect solution to safeguard against the spread of this seemingly deadly virus. As it turns out, plexiglass was the leading contender when it came to building barriers and protective shields for public spaces. According to an article from greenbiz.com, “Before the virus, demand for such plastics had been decreasing, as innovation allowed for thinner sheets in appliances such as TVs. As demand spikes, there’s a need for a sustainable, recyclable and ultimately circular option.” However, in today’s climate, millions of pieces of plexiglass sold to businesses and private establishments to create safer environments for this anxiety-ridden time, it leaves many of us to wonder what will happen to all these plexiglass shields and barriers when the pandemic is finally over? Below we explore possible ways to repurpose and upcycle plexiglass barriers and shields for life after the pandemic.
Plexiglass is a Perfect Tabletop Protector for Patios
Since plexiglass sheets are made from extremely durable, shatter-resistant acrylic, they are a cost-effective way to prolong the life of your patio furniture in a private residence or business—especially a tabletop. Plus, it’s practically weatherproof! If the original plexiglass shield or barrier is too large for a particular table or other outdoor piece, custom cut it to fit the furniture’s frame. Since this plastic material is lightweight and easy to transport, it can be easily customized to suit specific needs.
Getting Creative with Plexiglass to Make Art and Jewelry
Upcycling or creative reuse describes plexiglass to a T. Perfect for molding, plexiglass is simple to cut and does not easily crack or shatter, thereby, making it an ideal material to use for art and jewelry projects. If you have a creative hand and are looking for ways to repurpose previously appreciated plexiglass materials used during the pandemic, consider using this choice plastic for all your artistic needs. If you are a business with leftover plexiglass barriers or shields and no place to store them, consider donating the materials to a design studio looking to give the plastic a chance at a second life. Many fashion designers use plexiglass when shaping jewelry like earrings and rings. Fashion students at schools of design or in apprenticeships are great candidates to donate or sell this dynamic plastic to and are grateful recipients.
Custom Windows with Plexiglass
Plexiglass weighs roughly half the weight of glass, making it a no-brainer material to choose for windows of all kinds. Thanks to its lightweight nature and easy cutting capabilities, plexiglass barriers and shields are an ideal plastic to reuse for a designed, decorative, and accent window or for replacement windowpanes. Its versatility can be applied to several types of structures and spaces and may ultimately be a more protective and cost-effective solution for your windowpanes than glass.
Grow a Garden with the Help of Plexiglass
Anyone with a green thumb will tell you that plexiglass is an optimal choice material for a greenhouse. Plexiglass shields and barriers already possess the most important and essential properties to growing a garden: clear light transmission and safeguarding against the elements. Plus, plexiglass doesn’t collect much dirt, so it is perfect for letting the sunlight naturally flow through. Alternately, scuffed or scratched repurposed plexiglass can be used in the structure itself, defining lines and rows of greenery. An attractive garden is something that many spaces like offices, residences, hospitals, boutiques, and restaurants may adopt to create a more appealing ambiance as well as a beneficial green space. What better way to upcycle post-pandemic protective plexiglass than a garden?
As the proverb says, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Hence, plexiglass sheet protective barriers and guards, then perhaps creativity is the necessity of recycling. We’ve offered plexiglass sheet recycling ideas; however, you’re only limited by your own imagination.
Have questions about plexiglass and want to learn more about how to customize your next project? Reach out to our customer service team today!