How to Start Your Own PET and PVC Waste Recycling Business


Of about 300 kg of garbage thrown out per year by one resident of a large city, about 1/3 of the part is occupied by polyethylene containers, or, as it is also called, PET bottles.

Such bottles are now used for bottling mineral and other waters, juices, kvass, beer and much more.

At first glance, used PET bottles are completely useless, unlike their glass counterparts or waste paper. But it’s not. PET bottle is an excellent raw material for the production of flex – a recyclable material for the manufacture of chemical fiber

Flex in its pure form looks like white or colored flakes. Most of it comes from recycled plastic bottles. It serves as a raw material for the manufacture of exactly the same PET bottles – thus, a simple plastic bottle can go through an almost endless chain of processing and return to the end consumer again.

But the most important thing that can be obtained from PET flex (or PET, as it is also called) is a chemical fiber. It is used to make bristles for brushes of cleaning machines and car washes, packing tape, film, tiles, paving slabs and much more. In addition, the recycling policy of PET bottles is environmentally justified: after all, it takes approximately 300 years for the complete decomposition of the 1st plastic bottle.

At present, the industry for processing such containers in Russia is practically not developed, so opening such a business is more than economically profitable.

PET waste recycling process

The process itself is as follows. Raw material – the used PET bottle is collected and sorted into undyed and dyed (by color) classes. Each color is further processed separately. Then bottles made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are rejected – their processing also takes place separately. Foreign objects are manually removed, such as rubber, glass, paper, metal, other types of plastics (PVC, PEN, LDPE, PS, etc.). Each color is further processed separately.

PET waste recycling process

The bottles, pre-pressed, are loaded into a special line for the processing of containers, the output of which is a pure flake flake.

The line consists of several units connected together by belt conveyors.

First, the raw material enters a special rotary machine for separating labels and caps. The bottles treated in this way and freed from foreign objects are then fed into a crusher – an apparatus like a large blender with several knives that crush them.This article may be outdated. 

A special screw conveyor designed to move amorphous products (equipped with an Archimedean screw) places the resulting mass of finely chopped plastic into a steam boiler, where, under the action of hot water, foreign elements remaining after processing in the machine for separating labels and caps are removed.

After the boiler, the cleaned plastic is placed in a washing polishing machine and then in a rinsing machine. After the water treatment, the plastic is finally considered completely cleaned and placed in a water separator dryer and air dryer. After drying, the ready-made flex accumulates in a special bunker.

Costs of Starting a PET and PVC Waste Recycling Business

A fully equipped line will cost only 132 thousand dollars (3.9 million rubles). Its productivity is 0.8-1 tons per hour. The output is a flex weighing about 80% (taking into account the separated parts unsuitable for processing and production losses – shrinkage, utrus, etc.) from the initially loaded raw materials. The total power (energy consumption) of the entire line is 73 kWh.

Service: 8-10 employees, of which they are also involved in the processing of the incoming material (primary washing, rejection), loading of raw materials and unloading the finished product. One worker can process about 120 kg/h of incoming PET bottles. The salary of each is 15-20 thousand rubles.

The cost of raw materials is $ 100 (about 3 thousand rubles) per 1 ton (an average of 24 thousand bottles).

Portable Mini PET Waste Recycling Plant

In addition to the stationary one, there is a mobile option – a portable mini-plant for processing PET bottles.

This option is more suitable for a company that organizes the recycling of plastic bottles in several, for example, small cities at the same time. It is known that twenty tons of PET bottles can be collected in the dump of a city with a population of one hundred thousand per month. It is advisable to move monthly, for example, within one or two regions and process the containers collected in the previous month.

The mini-factory is completely mounted in a 20-foot (6-meter) container. All units inside the container are installed and adjusted, connected by pipes or special transport equipment, and also connected by power and control wires to the control unit of the plant at the factory.

When installing a container plant at the place of operation, only electricity, water and access to sewerage are required to drain waste.

The cost of the mini-factory is 160 thousand euros (6 million 750 thousand rubles).

The selling price of the finished product is 22.4-23.6 thousand rubles, depending on the color.

Portable Mini PET Waste Recycling Plant

Recycling of PVC waste

For the processing of PVC waste, there is a special complex for their granulation. It consists of several different components than the previous ones, and a line for washing and grinding heavily contaminated polygon bottles for it is purchased separately.

The cost of such a line is 76.8 thousand dollars (2.3 million rubles). The granulation line itself consists of a crusher for crushing PVC waste, a two-stage mixer (“hot-cold”) for mixing PVC compositions, the actual granulation unit (twin screw extruder, granulator, vibrating sieve).

All these assembled devices cost 459 thousand rubles, their productivity is from 15 to 30 kg per hour. The cost of 1 ton of finished products – PVC granules, depending on the color, size and other technical characteristics, ranges from 37 to 85 thousand rubles. for 1 ton

What is more profitable – recycling PVC or PET waste?

Let’s calculate the profitability of acquiring a particular processing line. For a line for the processing of PET bottles, profitability is quite high: with a salary of all employees of a maximum of 200 thousand rubles. per month, the cost of raw materials is 3 thousand rubles. for 1 ton, with an 8-hour working day and a 24-day working month, the net product yield is no less than 15 tons, or at least 330 thousand gross profits.

Even if utility costs amount to 30% of gross profit, net profit will be equal to at least 230 thousand rubles. per month. The payback of the business, therefore, is only one and a half years.

When purchasing a line for the processing of PVC waste, the total cost of equipment will amount to about 2.76 million rubles. Monthly wages for 2 employees serving the line – 30 thousand rubles.

The cost of raw materials is from 18 to 22-23 thousand rubles. for 1 ton. With the production of about 250 kg per day per month, at least 220 thousand rubles are obtained. gross income.

At the same time, net income is quite insignificant – about 50 thousand rubles. per month. But this is explained simply – by the insignificant output of products under the conditions of an 8-hour working day.

With the transition to continuous (3-shift) work and the production of not the cheapest PVC granules, the net profit will increase at least 5 times.

Payback in the worst scenario – more than 4.5 years, with an average – about 2, and with the most favorable – less than a year.


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