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How to Start a Profitable Plastic Recycling Business

Do you want to start a plastic recycling business? Here in this article, we have written a comprehensive business plan guide on steps associated with starting a plastic recycling plant with methods, machines required, costs, and much more.

In order to know how to start a plastic recycling plant, you must know its importance apart from profitability. Plastic is a non-biodegradable waste, which cannot be decomposed naturally like many substances. The varied use of plastic in our daily lives on the one hand and the absence of proper recycling facilities for plastic waste on the other are creating a great threat to the environment.

The main objective of a plastic recycling plant is to reduce the rate of plastic pollution and recycle them to make brand-new products. Before going into the details, you must do some research to understand its demand and profitability. To be successful, you must have a well-researched business plan. The rate of profits is also very high, considering the constant demand for plastic goods in different forms.

12 Steps to Start a Plastic Recycling Business

1. Understand the Trade

First of all, get informed about the basic necessity to start a plastic recycling plant. Also, do market research and collect information regarding the demand, sourcing sources, and competition from local players.

Furthermore, identify potential customers such as manufacturers, packaging companies, and government agencies. Explore the gaps that exist in the market and plan accordingly so that you stay ahead of the competition.

2. Create a Business Plan

If you are looking to start a sustainable plastic recycling company, it is essential to create a well-researched business plan document. Some of the important chapters to include are the mission statement, operational and marketing strategies, and financial projections.

Also, write in detail about the following aspects:

  • Type of Plastics you will recycle
  • Sourcing of plastic waste
  • Recycling processes
  • Marketing strategies
  • Operational expenses.

3. Legal and Regulatory Considerations

It is advisable to understand and comply with the legal requirements and regulations for plastic recycling in your area. Talk to concerned authorities and procure necessary permits, licenses, and certifications related to waste management, environmental protection, and occupational safety.

Also, learn more about the quality standards to be maintained for recycled plastics. Take necessary steps to meet or exceed the standards set by relevant regulatory bodies and industry associations.

4. Register your Plastic Waste Recycling Business

Make your Plastic recycling business legally compliant. Register your company as per the best-suited business structure offered by company registration authorities in your location. Obtain the required licenses and permits needed to start and run a plastic recycling business.

For example, if you are planning to form a plastic recycling business in the United States, forming an LLC is a good option. This is because this type of structure helps to protect your personal assets and also eases the filing of annual taxes.

Also, check out the types of licenses and permits required to start and run a plastic recycling company in your locality.

5. Name Your Plastic Recycling Company

Select a catchy name for your plastic recycling business. It not only helps in building brand growth but also helps customers to relate to your products. You can check our detailed guide on the steps to be followed to name a business to learn more.

6. Select a Location

Evaluate how much land is necessary to set up the recycling plant. If you want to do business on a small scale, then the requirement for land is less.

Do remember, you need separate and closed spaces for machinery, a space for scrap plastics, and a clean separate space for recycled plastics. The rooms should have proper shade and be well-ventilated. In addition, ensure that the facility meets zoning and environmental regulations.

7. Buy Equipment

Carefully Invest in sorting and processing equipment suitable for your plastic recycling operations. This may include shredders, granulators, washing lines, separation systems, and extruders. It is advised to buy equipment that can handle different types of plastic waste efficiently.

8. Plastic Waste Collection and Sorting

You need to establish partnerships or contracts with businesses, municipalities, and recycling centers to collect plastic waste.

To collect plastic waste from diverse sources, set up collection locations or establish a pickup service.

The next step is to create a system for sorting and segregating different types of plastics based on their resin codes. As a result, recycling is more efficient, and end goods are of higher quality. Teach your employees how to correctly recognize and separate various plastics.

9. The Recycling Process

Plastic garbage should be cleaned and prepared for recycling. Remove any foreign objects, such as labels, caps, and non-plastic items. To maintain quality requirements, sort the plastic by kind and color.

To assist further processing, shred or crush the plastic into smaller pieces. This raises the surface area and improves the recycling process’s efficiency.

The next step in plastic recycling is to melt the shredded plastic and extrude it into pellets or other desired forms. These recycled pellets can be used as raw materials by manufacturers to produce new plastic products.

10. Consider Developing Products

You must explore opportunities to develop value-added products using recycled plastics. It is advisable to have tie-ups with manufacturers. One can also start an independent product line. It will increase the marketability of your recycled plastic.

11. Hire Manpower

Another important aspect of the plastic recycling business is the deployment of manpower. In order to start a plastic recycling plant and run the business successfully, you have to deploy expert(s) and skilled laborers to run the machine and produce the recycled product.

Now, let us go into the details of plastic recycling and how to set up a plastic recycling plant from a detailed and research-oriented perspective.

12. Promote your Plastic Recycling Business

Everything said and done unless you have an effective marketing plan to promote your recycled plastic materials, it is difficult to achieve the desired success.

You must identify and approach potential customers. They can be manufacturers, packaging companies, and construction firms. In addition, promote the environmental and economic benefits of using recycled plastics in their operations.

Create a website, as it is mandatory to have an online presence nowadays for the success of any business.

FAQs on Plastic Recycling Business

What is Plastic Waste Recycling?

Plastic waste recycling means the process of collecting scrap plastics and recycling them into useful things. The objective of recycling plastic is to decrease plastic pollution while putting less pressure on producing brand-new plastic products. This method helps to preserve resources and checks plastics from landfills or other dangerous destinations such as oceans.

Plastics are durable, lightweight materials with a little price. You can easily mold them and make them used in a variety of fields. By recycling, and recycling the scrap into new substances and thus you can save new plastic manufacture. This recycling of plastic is extremely essential for the protection of the environment.

This plastic recycling plant will check the environmental pollution by hazardous plastic waste and put the stepping stone toward a healthier world.

In simple words, a plastic recycling plant goes through a few stages. They are, collecting the scrap plastic, and cleaning their impurities in the first step. And then in the second step, they are melted or shredded into flakes for reuse.

What is the Cost of Starting a Plastic Recycling Plant?

Setting up a recycling plant will require some investment. The areas of investment machinery costs, transportation and logistics costs, raw material costs, installation costs, and other miscellaneous expenses. The cost of a good quality waste plastic recycling plant will be in the range of $50,000 to $1,00,0000.

What types of plastics can be recycled?

There are mainly six types of plastics. They are as follows:

  • PS (Polystyrene) – Example: cups, plastic cutlery, containers
  • PP (Polypropylene) – Example: lunch boxes, take-home food containers
  • LDPE (Low-density polyethylene) – Example: garbage bins and bags.
  • PVC (Plasticised Polyvinyl chloride or polyvinyl chloride)—Example squeeze bottles.
  • HDPE (High-density polyethylene) – Example: milk bottles.
  • PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) – Example: juice and soft drink bottles.

At present, only PET, HDPE, and PVC plastic products are recycled. PS, PP, and LDPE typically are not recycled. Some plastics are not recycled due to the lack of economic feasibility.

What are the potential challenges in plastic recycling?

There are a few challenges in running a plastic recycling business. It includes fluctuating market prices for recycled plastics, technological limitations in processing certain types of plastics, and ensuring a consistent supply of high-quality plastic waste. It is advised to stay updated with industry trends and invest in research and development to overcome these challenges.

How Effective is Recycling Plastic?

How to start a plastic recycling plant is highly related to the importance of plastic recycling. Let us look into some interesting statistics which will prove the importance of starting a plastic recycling plant.

Plastics take hundreds of years to degenerate Plastics cover 10% of global waste generation. Furthermore, recycling plastic uses 88% less energy than producing plastics from new materials

Also, plastics thrown into the ocean bed kills millions of sea birds and mammals. The energy which you save by recycling a single plastic bottle can light up a 100wt bulb for nearly an hour.

These facts and figures show how important it is to start plastic recycling plants. A number of American states have made the recycling of plastic mandatory. European countries have also formulated laws to encourage and implement more and more plastic recycling plants.

Read: How to Make Money Recycling Batteries

What machines are Used to Recycle Plastic?

The process of recycling plastic requires specific machines.  The collected scrap plastics after the cleaning of impurities are first compressed and then melted with the help of machines. Then it is given small shapes and cooled using cold water.

There are various kinds of machines. Some machines perform a part of recycling, while others do all the parts together. The kind of machinery also depends on the kind of plastic you are going to recycle. However, it is advisable to go for a large-scale machine.

Nowadays, modern innovations have made machines more cost-effective and much easy to operate. These machines use modern software which makes the process more accurate and sensitive, resulting in a better quality of production.

In conclusion, if you have the financial resources and the network, starting a plastic recycling plant can fetch you high returns.