Bioplastic Cookbook for Ritual Healing from Petrochemical Landscapes

Tiare Ribeaux

Gelatin Bioplastics Protocol

  1. Prepare Work Area with hot plate, pot, beakers, scale, stirring tool, spoon, and needed ingredients (gelatin powder, water, glycerol), and mold off to the side
  2. Pour 240ml of cold water into your pot.
  3. Measure 48g of Gelatine Powder using a food scale and add it to the water.
  4. Measure 12g to 24g of Glycerol to the mixture. The amounts can be adjusted as long as the ratio remains roughly the same. Less glycerol will result in a more brittle but harder material, more Glycerol will create a more flexible and soft sheet - thus why I've provided a range.
  5. Stir mixed ingredients in the pot until there are no clumps.
  6. Heat mixture until it starts to froth at a low boil. Continue stirring mixture while heating for a few more minutes.
  7. Remove excess froth with spoon and make make sure there are no clumps in the mixture. Keep froth for texture if desired, or save froth as foam on the side for a foam gelatin bioplastic option
  8. Remove from heat
  9. Add pigment now - or after poured for desired aesthetic - experiment with coloring for what works best with what you are going for. Adding pigment to the hot solution can spread the color more evenly but also will fade the color slightly
  10. Pour liquid into mold or onto a surface and spread the liquid evenly on the surface as a thin layer.
  11. Wait and Dry for 2-3 Days - The time it takes to dry depends on the thickness of the bioplastic as well as temperature and humidity. Bioplastics dry faster in the summer and slower in the winter. After 24 hours cut the edges of the bioplastic from the mold with an exacto blade or knife. Once dry, remove the sheet from the mold carefully.

Gelatin is a biopolymer derived from pig collagen that is typically a waste product from the food industry. Gelatin biopolymers are made of polymer chains of amino acid monomers.
When Gelatin bioplastics are dry and especially when the are exposed to the sun, they often get quite brittle. Even when adding more glycerol to the recipe, it is still one of the stiffer bioplastics to work with. Use them for alternative packaging, create a folder or envelope, use them to replace stiff plastic materials your might use in your daily life. Heat them or wet them to shape them over forms or molds.
Optional: Combine Gelatin powder with Agar powder to make a more flexible/hybrid material.