Plastic Recycling

Plastic recycling can lead to both profit and environmental sustainability

Plastic scrap buyers recycle everything from plastic grocery store bags to vinyl pipes. Starting a plastic recycling business often pays off in terms of selling recycled plastic, not to mention the positive impact recycling plastic bottles and bags has on the environment.

For those wanting to start a plastic recycling business, complete systems cost anywhere from tens of thousands of dollars to well into the millions, depending on the size of the operation. Once set up, most plastic scrap buyers have many options for selling the recycled plastic since many companies use post-consumer plastic to make carpet, vinyl fencing and even to produce more plastic bags.

Consider the following when you look into a plastic recycling company:

1. What type and how much plastic waste your community produces.

2. The cost of machinery needed for plastic recycling, which is typically quite costly.

3. How to develop a plan for items like collection, storage and location of plastic scrap recycling.

Identify the plastic scrap recycling needs of the community

Crunch numbers to get an idea of available resources for plastic scraps such as plastic bags, bottles or other food containers. Are there universities, churches and large grocery stores, all of which can produce huge amounts of plastic waste? Check for any existing recycling centers your community, whether it be for curbside recycling or plastic bag recycling. Make sure you don't try to establish something that already exists.

Get solid estimates on what plastic recycling machinery costs

Browse through sites that sell machinery to plastic recycling companies. Several sites offer equipment and have contact email addresses for quotes. The machinery is a big commitment so most of the sites also offer information for what you need to consider as far as skill and manpower are concerned.

Set up a check list and prepare a plastic recycling business plan

In addition to the machinery, you must make a checklist to consider the cost of other items like plastic storage containers and vehicles to transport the plastic scraps. Also figure in the cost of collection as well as what it will cost to transport the plastic to your site. Write a business plan to project profits and to select a location for a recycling center. Consider an area that is both easy to get to and one with neighbors who can tolerate a little noise.
  • Petition your city council to conduct an audit to determine which neighborhoods in your community will produce the most waste for plastic recycling companies.
  • Look for other "green" programs in the community. An already established willingness means more involvement in a similar cause.

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