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Home » Making Money While Nurturing the Environment: Learn How to Start Your Own Plastic Recycling Business in 8 Simple Steps

Making Money While Nurturing the Environment: Learn How to Start Your Own Plastic Recycling Business in 8 Simple Steps

Those who are environmentally conscious will find themselves with numerous different potential businesses to start, one of which would be a plastic recycling business. Plastic is among the biggest problems in terms of waste we as humans produce, so a recycling business can help minimize the impact on the planet. At the same time, your business can bring in profits, letting you earn a living while helping the planet. Learn what you will need to do in order to start your own plastic recycling business. Then, discover more here on other related businesses.

Do Some Research

Start off your plastic recycling business on the right foot by conducting some research before you begin. The first part of this would be to confirm that a recycling business will do well in your area, which will likely come down to how much competition already exists. During your research, you also want to figure out what type of budget a plastic recycling business would need.

This is also the time to confirm that there is a market for recycled plastic in your area. Will you be able to sell it somewhere local? Or would you have to pay for transportation to a distant location? You should also be sure that you are familiar with local requirements for recyclable plastics and collection.

Decide How to Collect the Plastic and Craft a Business Plan

Once you have confirmed that a plastic recycling business is indeed feasible in your area, it is time to start creating your business plan. One of the most important elements of this will be deciding how you will collect the plastic. Will you have people bring it to your location? Will you ask volunteer groups to collect it from some set points and bring it? Or will you set up collection bins in residential areas and then go pick it up yourself? This is also the time to talk to local businesses to see whether they would be interested in donating their recyclables to you. Many may take you up on this offer since the alternative would be for them to pay to have them removed or recycled. In some cases, you may have to pay people a small amount for their recyclable plastic, so decide if you will go this route and how much you will pay.

Your business plan will also have to include whether you will be recycling the plastic yourself or outsourcing that process. The budget is also a key part of the business plan and it should include things such as employee wages, rent for the space, equipment, vehicles for hauling, and money used to pay people for recyclables.

Find a Location

You will also need to find a location for your business before you get too far along in the planning process. You will obviously need a larger site if you plan on processing the recycling on-site instead of outsourcing. As you search for a location, check local regulations and think about things like access and rent. If you plan on collecting the plastic yourself from designated areas, having a hard-to-access business location is fine. If, however, you want to encourage people to drop their recycling off, make sure your chosen location is easy to find and get to.

Take Care of Legalities

You will also need to take care of all the legalities associated with running a business. This includes applying for a business license and taking care of other paperwork. It is common for most states and localities to offer some sort of assistance to help you understand requirements and rules. If not, it may be worth consulting a business lawyer or other expert to ensure you do not miss anything.

Rent or Buy Equipment

If you plan on recycling the plastic yourself, you will need to either buy or rent the equipment yourself. This will include things such as shredders, extruders, crushers, solar dryers, and washers. Compare costs to decide if you should buy or rent the equipment.

If you plan on outsourcing the actual recycling, then you may still want to invest in some basic machinery like crushers so you can minimize the space the plastic takes up. No matter your business plan, you will also need to rent or buy a vehicle that can hold the processed plastic, letting you transport it to buyers.

Hire Employees

At this point, everything for your business is almost ready, so you can go ahead and hire employees. You may or may not need employees at first, so smaller plastic recycling businesses may be able to skip this step. Figure out what tasks you need employees for and how many you need. Account for things like collecting the plastic, processing it, and transporting it.


Before you actually open your business, start marketing it. Use a range of advertising methods, such as traditional fliers, billboards, and newspaper ads. You should also use more modern methods and create a website and a page on major social media platforms, such as Facebook. This is also when you want to ensure that you have approached local businesses that may be willing to either donate plastic for recycling or purchase your processed recycled plastic. If you talked to potential businesses during the planning stages to gain interest, go back and let them know that your business will be up and running soon and you hope to work with them. You will need to take care of initial marketing but also have a marketing plan that continues when the business is actually up and running.

Start Collecting and Evaluate for Needed Changes

Once everything else is done, go ahead and start your business. Remember that your business plan is unlikely to work perfectly, especially if you do not have previous business or plastic recycling experience. Pay close attention to your business so you can tell if any changes need to be made. Do not be afraid to make adjustments when required, whether it is to the number of staff you need, how you collect the plastic, or whether you outsource the processing. It is normal for businesses to evolve over time.

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