Companies have understood the advantage of recycling and most companies in the world are investing to recycle their products. There are many factors why a company is interested or not interested in recycling their product. But the most critical factor is cost. Is the cost of recycling is low, equal or more than manufacturing the product? Since most companies value everything with profit which they have full rights to, they are not too open-minded about recycling if the cost is equal or more than manufacturing a new product. This makes perfect sense because you will not help the environment if you are also losing money. What we should work on is a means that will reduce the cost of recycling plastics rather than solution related to policies.
This project focus on reducing the cost associated with recycling beverage plastic bottles. The main steps in recycling bottled plastic are the collection, transporting, sorting, shredding, cleaning, melting and making of pellets. A well-run curbside recycling program can cost anywhere from $50 to more than $150 per ton and trash collection and disposal programs, on the other hand, cost anywhere from $70 to more than $200 per ton. Since in recycling there is a cost of collection and transportation, they are one of the most costly steps. This is because since plastic bottles have a very high size to weight ratio, even if they are light in weight a small number of bottles takes big space, which leads to higher cost associated with transportation cost, storage cost, labour, time and so on.
This project offers a new way to store and transport waste bottle plastics that will decrease space from 60% up to 80%. This is done by cutting the bottom part of the bottle and fit the top part to bottom so that space is saved while storing and transporting. This cutting could be done either at garbage bin where people can easily cut is when they put it in the trash because the newly designed garbage bin will have a simple mechanism to cut it or can be done in plastic waste collection centers before sent to recycling stations. I have tested it and calculated how much space is saved and it has confirmed my calculations.
This way the collection and transportation of recycling bottled plastics can be reduced by lower storage cost because the plastics will take less space, lower transportation cost because much more plastic can be transported in one round that previous, lower labour cost of transporting the plastics and so on. Note that decreasing space where bottled plastic takes by 60% to 80% means reducing the cost by 60% to 80%. This number is not estimation but a calculated output by measuring the volume of the current storage and shipping method at its best vs. the new method using same bottled plastic.
Note that this will change the design of our garbage bins and will likely change our way of storing and transporting plastic bottles.