Design a Viable Plastics Recycling Business

What is a plastics recycling business?  It’s slightly different than remanufacturing plastic. Let’s start by looking around your home. You have a lot of plastic, don’t you? Plastic is so commonplace that we tend to forget that it’s not natural. It’s a relatively new synthetic, and it’s having a devastating effect on the environment.

recycling

Typically, most people limit their recycling tasks to separating items from other trash and setting the various bags out on the curb. Many citizens would like to know that their plastics are destined for productive, even creative futures. You could create a small business plan for a company which, for a fee, collects local plastic excess from individuals and businesses. Afterward, you’d redistribute the plastic to appropriate remanufacturing sources. In doing so, you’d assure your clientele that their used plastic will have a more sustainable future.

Practical Ideas for Plastics Recycling

Here is some information about typical plastic consumption and how you could reinvent plastics recycling for your local community:

  • Household cleaners, milk bottles, shampoos: These containers are created from a durable plastic. When recycled, they become bottles and containers, plastic lumber, picnic tables, lawn furniture, playground equipment, and recycling bins. You’d locate and sell these plastics to a shredding company. They’d take care of the processing.
  • Grocery bags, food wrap: Plastic bags contaminate other plastic collections. Plastics must be separated according to polymer. Many stores that give plastic bags for bundling purchases also accept used plastic bags for recycling. You could be the person who brings plastic bags to Target, Walmart, Lowes, Safeway, even (hopefully) your local grocery for your neighbors — for a fee, of course. Later, these recycled plastic bags and wraps can be manufactured into plastic lumber like park benches, backyard decks, fences, playground equipment, and new plastic bags.
  • Bottles: Sales of water and soft drink bottles are slowly becoming forbidden in some major U.S. cities. Until all cities implement such legislation, however, there is quite a demand for organized bottle recycling. If properly recycled, bottles can be transformed into clothing (t-shirts, sweaters, fleece jackets), camping gear (insulation for ski jackets and sleeping bags), carpeting, and more bottles. Only 28 percent of plastic bottles are recycled in the U.S. Not everyone has the time or inclination to recycle bottles, but you could do it for them—- for a fee. Here is some background information about what it takes to become involved with plastic bottle recycling.
  • Bottle Caps: Bottle caps are made with a different type of plastic than the bottles themselves. As a result, bottle caps can be recycled into car batteries, garden rakes, storage containers, reusable shopping bags, yarn, ropes, and brooms. Know your bottle cap polymers. Recast yourself the local expert who separates these plastics for subsequent remanufacturing.
  • Foam Packaging: About 95% air, foam packaging keeps your new TV, refrigerator, stereo, or video game console in perfect condition in transit from the factory to your home. Become that innovative recycling go-to person who helps to recreate foam packaging as insulation, picture frames, or building products.  First, you’ll need to learn what this process is all. Then you can assume the role of local conduit for foam packaging recycling. So here’s some information that will help you to gain the expertise in foam packaging recycling that you’ll need.

Community Sustainability through Plastics Recycling

In addition to the list above, you probably have your own ideas about how your company can become the intermediary between plastics recycling and remanufacturing. Many plastics recycling opportunities exist – it’s up to you to determine what’s most efficacious for your community. Once you decide your areas of focus, come up with a menu of plastics recycling services. Market yourself using a sustainability focus.  Show how local participation in your plastics recycling service can accentuate your community’s overall recycling.

With your assistance, your local area can become a plastics recycling role model for other cities and towns. Who knows? You could be on your way to establishing the next trendy eco-business!

Idea Source: Recycle Your Plastics

Photo credit: Reciclado Creativo – The Reuse Factory via Foter.com / CC BY

 

About the Author

writes from her home in Chepachet, RI, where she advocates with her lake association for chemical-free solutions to eradicate invasive species. She’s an organic gardener, nature lover, and semi-vegetarian (no red meat since 1980) who draws upon digital media literacy and learning to spread the word about sustainability issues. Please follow me on Twitter and Facebook and Google+