On The Outdoor, Stainless Steel Crescent Moon Charging Shelves...
Today was the debut of my brand new shelf series, which is constructed of stainless steel and has interior shelves made from a material called HDPE (high-density polyethylene). Now, anyone who knows anything about my shop is probably aware that I stay away from plastics as much as possible in my work and shipping. No bubble wrap, styrofoam, or synthetic materials if I can avoid it, outside of shipping tape, and maybe some drywall anchors to hang the item, depending on the design, but that's really it.
The HDPE I use in this new series of shelves, while considered a plastic material is not "fresh" material I am buying from a typical supplier. I am sourcing it as drop off pieces from an industrial manufacturing process local to me. A full sheet of HDPE if bought directly from a vendor is 4ft x 8ft or larger. The pieces I am using for these shelves are leftover materials I get in smaller slivers that are leftover from a local business making their products.
HDPE is recyclable from a standpoint of breaking it down molecularly (melting) compressing, and reforming into a new sheet, but this process is not as environmentally friendly as being able to just reuse the material as it sits as a fully-useable "drop off" from industrial projects.
These reasons are why I am making an exception about using this material in my work as it is something I wouldn't ever buy as a new material. In other words, if it ever gets to the point that I would need to buy a fresh sheet of new HDPE to continue making these outdoor shelves, I would just discontinue them altogether.
This is the same material you will find many picnic tables, park benches, handrails, and similar items made from in parks and other public places around the world. I'm just using the leftovers.