Year: 2022
Duration: 4 weeks
Every year, approximately 2 million tons of plastic waste enters the oceans. This project is an exploration into gelatin-based bioplastic derived from food waste, examining its potential as an alternative to acrylic. The project investigates its capability to replicate key properties of acrylics, including hardness, color range, transparency, texture, thickness, moldability, and heat molding.


Part I.  basic properties

Existing gelatin-based bioplastic are often gel-like or of a soft sheet material. I first experimented with the ratio of the ingredients to achieve a rigid, hard plastic like material. Then, I casted a range of thickness (5mm, 3mm, 1mm), colors and finishes (glossy, matte) by mixing natural dye with gelatin, glycerin and starch. 


Part II.  moldability

In this part, I experimented with different fabrication methods to create 3D forms and applied designs using gelatin.

↓ The vessels are slip-cast in cylindrical containers. Throughout the drying process, the gelatin shrinks, creating the natural curves in the vessel.

Natural curves formed during drying

Slipcasting spheres

Heat molding

the heat molding property of plastic and acrylic allows them to be formed into various shapes and vaccuum formed. Gelatin sheets also soften when exposed to heat; however, they don’t melt. Similar to acrylic, they become a softer sheet and can be shaped by hand and molds. When they cool down in about 30 seconds, they take on the formed shape. Additionally, they create interesting textures that produce reflections under light similar to those of glass.