Opportunity is Knocking
Updated: Jul 15, 2019
Opportunity is knocking – you can now make and sell finished goods from recycled plastic for less than the cost of new plastic resin!
Plastic is an amazing material. It is used in all aspects of our daily lives from the packaging that keeps our food and medicine fresh, to the phones and computers on which we rely, to the furniture on which relax, and to the actual physical infrastructure of our world including electrical wiring, gas and oil lines, water and sewer pipes, roadways and even the buildings in which we live and work.
Plastic is everywhere – this is both a blessing and a curse.
The problem with plastic is not the fundamental nature of the material... it is the predominant view that it is disposable. As a society, we see plastic as “garbage” once it has fulfilled its original purpose. After we have finished drinking from a container, the container is considered of no value and thrown away. Every year, eighty percent of the five to six billion pounds of PET plastic used to make water bottles and other drink containers is thrown away. At a cost of about $0.83 US per pound, 3.65 billion dollars per year, over 10 million dollars per day, is being discarded. At best, it ends up in landfill. At worst, it pollutes our rivers, lakes, and oceans. If we break a leg off a plastic chair, we simply throw the entire chair into the trash and replace it with another low-cost chair, without a second thought. This is not sustainable.
The environmental organization, Earth Policy Institute, in Washington DC notes that, in the United States, each year 17 million barrels of crude oil are used to make 29 billion plastic water bottles. The misuse of plastic is creating an environmental catastrophe, yet it could be easily turned into an economic opportunity.
The biggest problem with recycling is that we need to put energy back into the material and process in several ways. Recycling equipment comes with a high capital cost and consumes large amounts of energy. This has resulted in centralized recycling facilities. This requires that plastic be collected, sorted, separated from contaminants such as glass, metal, or rocks, mechanically compressed into a cube, and then shipped hundreds of miles to the recycling facility. Once the material reaches the facility, it is typically washed, chopped into flakes, dried (a very energy-intensive step) and melted into plastic ooze which is filtered for impurities and subsequently formed into strands which are cooled and chopped into pellets for sale. These pellets are then shipped to another, capital-intensive, centralized facility where the plastic is converted into finished goods such as carpets, sleeping bags, or even new bottles. These items are then shipped hundreds, or even thousands, of miles to their final customers. The shipping and handling of waste plastic has created a significant economic barrier to recycling... it just costs too much so it is not happening.
This simple video explains the problem in 2 minutes:
Omachron has developed an entirely different approach to this problem. We have developed compact, low-cost, energy-efficient equipment that can process 100% waste plastic to make a wide range of products.
The diverse range of products includes road and walkway blocks, roofing tiles, plastic lumber, flooring, window coverings, textiles, household and commercial furniture, dinnerware, tourist souvenirs, and packaging containers just to name a few. Manufacturing can take place virtually anywhere, ideally close to where the plastic waste is first compiled and to where customers for the products are located.
By utilizing the Omachron Recycling System, products can be made locally from locally available plastic waste, rather than from virgin material in factories at far-away locations. The raw material is now the plastic garbage that is everywhere. Plastic becomes a reusable resource. Local economic opportunities are created. Landfill and oil use are greatly reduced.
Here is an oversimplified business model for our Model 100 Plastic Molding/Recycling System:
1. Transforms 200,000 pounds per year of virgin or waste plastic, or any combination of the two, on a single shift into finished product.
2. Requires 400 to 1,200 square feet depending on the product being made.
3. Requires 220V, single-phase, 40A to 60A depending on the product being made.
4. Typically costs between $75,000 to $175,000 USD depending on the product being made.
Let’s assume a $75,000 USD system using 220V, 60A is set up in 400 square feet to make plastic lumber, siding or roofing. One person can run 1 machine.
OPTION 1: If you assume a single shift, 40 hours per week, each pound of plastic processed costs $0.276 per pound including $0.0145 for electricity ($0.11 USD/kWh), $0.024 for floor space ($12/sq. ft/yr.), $0.05 for maintenance, and $0.1875 for capital equipment with the equipment paying for itself in 2 years. If you pay $0.10 per pound of waste plastic, and if you sell your finished products for the same price as the virgin raw material which is about $0.83 per pound for PET, you would have a 220% markup on your costs, and make about $90,800 gross profit minus labour costs if you employ another person to run the machine.
OPTION 2: If you assume two shifts, 80 hours per week, each pound of plastic processed costs $0.17025 per pound including $0.0145 for electricity ($0.11 USD/kWh), $0.012 for floor space ($12/sq. ft/yr.), $0.05 for maintenance, and $0.09375 for capital equipment with the equipment paying for itself in 2 years. If you pay $0.10 per pound of waste plastic, and if you sell your finished products for the same price as the virgin raw material which is about $0.83 per pound for PET, you would have a 307% markup on your costs, and make about $223,900 gross profit minus the labour cost of two people if you employ others to run the machine.
OPTION 3: If you assume three shifts, 120 hours per week (5 days x 24 hours/day), each pound of plastic processed costs $0.135 per pound including $0.0145 for electricity ($0.11 USD/kWh), $0.008 for floor space ($12/sq. ft/yr.), $0.05 for maintenance, and $0.0625 for capital equipment with the equipment paying for itself in 2 years. If you pay $0.10 per pound of waste plastic, and if you sell your finished products for the same price as the virgin raw material which is about $0.83per pound for PET, you would have a 353% markup on your costs, and make about $357,000 gross profit minus the labour cost of three people if you employ others to run the machine.
If you are looking for ideas for what you could make, contact us. We have many patented or patent-pending products you may be able to license. If you have your own idea for a product, we can help turn that idea into a reality in an environmentally and socially responsible way.
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