Plastic Recycling

How to Start a Plastic Recycling Business

The use of plastic is increasing day by day. Plastic has become a part of our everyday lives whether it is packing, water bottles, pouches for carrying goods, electronics equipment, or other essential items, all of which are used in plastic.

As you know plastic is not biodegradable. That is, it takes decades for the plastic to decompose. None of us can practically use or dispose of plastic. So all the used plastic will remain here until it is destroyed. Scientists are quite concerned with the increase of plastic waste because they are unable to decompose them compared to waste production.

Imagine the amount of plastic trash in a day, month and year, and how many years we have to live with them until they disappear. Plastics left as waste have their own impact on the environment and humanity. Plastic is causing global warming, land, water, and air pollution. Burned plastic is a dangerous threat because it emits toxic smoke that is unsafe for us.

In such a situation, it would be beneficial to recycle the plastic and resize it again to some size. This will reduce plastic waste and we will also be able to save the environment.

What is Plastic Recycling Business

Since the production of plastics in the 1950s, 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics have been generated recently. These plastics mostly become waste after one time of use. It is estimated that about 6.3 billion metric tons of plastic have gone to waste. Around 400–500 million tonnes of plastic waste is generated every year which keeps increasing every year. Most of the products we use have been replaced by plastics. The shocking part of all this is that only 10–15% of the total production of plastic waste is recycled.

We must use plastic very carefully to protect our health and to protect nature. It should be used sparingly and disposed of properly.

Reducing the use of plastics is a gradual process and will take a lot of time but during this time-efficient ways of managing plastics can be thought of. One of the efficient ways to handle plastic is to recycle it. The plastic recycling business involves making plastics that can be reused usable by recycling them.

What Kind of Plastic Will You Recycle?

Think about how you will recycle plastic waste. Try to start with a small recycling plant recycling plastic bottles, plastic sheets, polybags, small plastic containers, and their kind of plastics. You can later add PVC pipes, sheets, plastic tanks, and many more. There are different types of machines and methods needed to recycle different types of plastics, so choose one that gives the maximum return.

Scope in Plastic Recycling Business

Plastic production began in the 1950s and since then plastics have replaced most of the metals and fabrics used in the packaging, automobile, and computer industries. Today, an average American uses about 25 pounds (about 11.5 Kg) of plastic every year. Plastic consumption is growing at a rate of 10% and is expected to have a similar growth pattern for the next few years.

The plastics recycling business has many scopes of business such as collecting plastics, outsourcing reprocessing, selling recycled plastics, etc. Non-recycled plastics are more expensive than recycled plastics. The more time plastic is recycled, the lower it’s quality. The lowest grade of such recycled plastic is used to make PET bottles, polythene, use and throw containers, cans, etc.

Road laying departments also buy low quality plastics for road construction. Molten plastic is used as tar.

In the USA, water and shampoo bottles are most commonly made of recycled plastic. There are different types of plastics that we use. Plastic products are mainly classified into six types. They are polystyrene (used in making foam hot drink cups, plastic cutlery, containers.), Polypropylene (used to make lunch boxes, food containers, ice cream containers), LDPE (for making garbage bins and bags, PVC (juice bottles), HDPE (shampoo containers or milk bottles), and PET (fruit juice and soft drink bottles).

Currently, only PET, HDPE, and PVC plastic products are recycled. Polystyrene, polypropylene, and LDPE are not recycled, as they are trapped in the recycling machine’s sorting equipment resulting in wear and tear. Lids and bottle tops also cannot be recycled. Some plastic types are not recycled because they are not economically possible to do so.

The plastic bottle recycling business is one of the best-paying businesses these days. Plastic bottles are used extensively for packing drinking water. The business of recycling plastic bottles is relatively simple in that it is necessary to collect and sort the bottles used.

Cost to Set up a Plastic Recycling Plant

To calculate the cost, you need to calculate the cost of all the necessary machines and equipment. To open a plastic recycling plant, you have to start with a monthly expenditure of $100000-$200000. in the first place for a total of 1 million – 2.5 million. An investment of Rs can be expected.

What are the necessary things to open a plant? Let us know: –

Land Requirement and Factory for Plastic Recycling Plant: –

The first basic thing you need to open your recycle a plant is a good place. For choosing a good place, you must keep these things in mind:

  • The cost of the land depends on the place of purchase, so to get the land at a low cost, you should buy it on the outskirts of the city.
  • You can also rent land.
  • While taking land, keep in mind that electricity and water system should be accessible at that place.
  • If you are keen on small scale recycling then at least 200 square feet of the room will be required.
  • If you want to do large scale recycling then at least 500 square feet of land will be required for the recycling process.

After choosing the place, while planting the plant, you should also take care of some things like: –

  • In a factory setup, you can easily spend $500000 to $1000000.
  • Machine storage must be clean and closed.
  • All such closed rooms should be ventilated to avoid suffocation.
  • Have a separate place to dump plastic waste.
  • A clean space is necessary to keep the recycled product.

Machines for Recycling Plastic Waste: –

You will need to buy the necessary machines for recycling your plastic waste. The cost of installation of the machine for recycling ranges from $350000 to $3500000 and above.

Do not make cost a factor when purchasing a machine as it should perform the task well on a need basis.

Separate machines are available for different tasks such as first compacting the plastic, melting the plastic, molding it to a smaller size, and cooling using cold water.

For some machines that have large scale recycling, all these features are available. In this, you do not have to buy a separate unit. You can do all the work with a single machine.

Machines also depend on what kind of plastic you are recycling and what scale you are recycling. The rate of machines depends on it. It is better that you choose a large-scale machine that has different characteristics.

Utilities Required Recycling Plant:-

  • The cost of other utilities will be around $100000-$200000 per month. You can also add labor and technician costs.
  • The other requirement includes the money required to purchase plastic waste. There is not much cost for this, about $20000-$30000 per month is sufficient.
  • The money required in advertising, transportation, finishing, packing, and manufacturing is also included.
  • As you get a factory for recycling, you need the proper utilities to run your factory. The most important thing you need is a proper power connection. You should take necessary connections based on your electricity demand.
  • Another important thing is a proper water supply.
  • You should have a proper generator for emergencies.
  • Other utilities include parts related to recycling, small appliances, machines, compressors, furniture, and more.

Process Involved in Recycling of Plastic Waste

To recycle the plastic you have to go through the following processes: –

  • Collection of plastic waste and dumping
  • Sorting and segregation of plastic waste such as PVC, ABS, LD, etc.
  • Grinding
  • Now you can supply these plastic raw materials to the recycling unit
  • Recycling process started
  • Compression and melting of raw materials obtained after grinding process
  • Formation of pellets
  • Manufacturing of new products like a chair, table, bottle, etc.

After you set up your factory, fix your utilities. Get plastic waste and start your recycling process. The major steps involved in recycling are to compress and melt the plastic in a liquid. This is done in a way so that the least pollution is generated. The next step involves filtering where the waste residues are removed and high-quality liquid is passed. The next step requires shaping the liquid plastic. Mostly they are of a small brick size or pellet size. They are cooled in cold water and later put in a dry container.

Business Registration Requirement for Plastic Recycling Plant

It is necessary to register this business. You will need the following types of licenses: –

  • A registered business (proprietorship, partnership, private limited)
  • GST registration has to be done.
  • Establishments (installation) license will be required.
  • License from State Pollution Control Board will be required.
  • If approval is required from the municipality / municipal corporation, you may need to inquire with the local municipality/municipality.

Business and Marketing

The market for recycled plastics is huge because the original non-recycled plastics are significantly more expensive than recycled ones. Recycled plastics lack quality compared to original fresh plastics.

Your market will depend on the type of plastic and how often the plastic has been recycled. For the first time, recycled plastic is used in manufacturing high-quality plastic items while 2-3 times recycled plastic is used to manufacture plastic bottles.

The lowest quality of recycled plastics is used in the manufacture of use and throw plastic bottles, polythene, one-time containers, boxes, and their like items.

The lowest grade of recycled plastic can be sold to road departments that are using molten plastic instead of bitumen to make roads. Molten plastic is similar to tar and is more durable than bitumen.

60 kg of plastic can make 500 meters of the road which is 8 meters wide. The road Department in The United States has constructed many such roads using recycled plastic.

Build a strong market that can offer you different rates for your recycled plastics. You can sell it to plastic product manufacturing companies, polybag manufacturers, road transport authorities, etc.

How Much Will be the Profit Margin

The initial return will not be high because the investment is high. You can take a loan while investing, finance your business, or share costs with partners.

If you manage to reduce investment in setting up a factory then you can get an early return. After a few months of inception, you can get meaningful returns by selling recycled plastics.

For additional benefits, you can start manufacturing basic plastic products like poly bags, small use, and throw plastics. They have a huge market. To make a road you can contact the road department to pick up the lowest order recycled plastic as it can give you good returns.


Overall, the plastic recycling business is the demand of the day. You will also contribute to saving nature as well as income, which will give you a good experience. It is a social welfare work. The plastics used by people are polluting our rivers, our land, etc. Due to which people are getting various types of diseases. We have to use this waste properly and reduce the use of plastic. So that in the coming time we will get clean water and fertile land.

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