You already know that recycling is good for the environment, but did you know that it’s also good for your company’s bottom line?
Plastic recycling can save you thousands on landfill costs and even generate revenue on the plastic scraps you provide. It can also boost your messaging and reputation as a socially responsible company. If your organization hasn’t started recycling and selling scrap plastics, what are you waiting for?
What Is Commercial Plastics Recycling?
Commercial plastics recycling is a process by which plastic waste from businesses gets collected and delivered to a recycling facility that processes the scraps and turns them into usable plastic that gets utilized to produce brand new goods.
Your company doesn’t need to produce a lot of plastic waste to participate in commercial plastics recycling. Almost anything can be recycled – from old office water coolers to plastic food packaging.
When plastic scraps arrive at a recycling facility, they get sorted and cleaned. They are usually mechanically separated from other non-recyclable pieces and debris. Then they get put through several types of grinders to create a fine granular plastic material. This material can be packaged and reused by others.
Commercial plastics recycling is usually a better choice than simply letting your plastic waste go to the landfill. As you can imagine, this process greatly reduces the amount of plastic that ends up in the environment, which harms animals and destroys their natural habitats.
Additionally, it can save your company a lot of money that you’re currently spending at the landfill and in some cases, it might even boost your revenue.
Sell Plastic Scrap For Profit
Many recycling facilities are willing to pay you for your scrap plastics. Think of it as a mutually-beneficial service where you provide them with raw goods and they process them and sell them to plastic manufacturers at a higher cost.
The pandemic has also contributed to the rising need for recycled plastic, raising prices across the board. Due to production shortages, recycled plastic costs are at an all-time high. There has never been a better time to sell your scrap plastics for profit.
How Much Can You Get For Plastic Scraps
The amount you can get paid for your scrap plastics varies based on the type of plastic you are getting rid of.
The most in-demand plastic scraps are plastics #1 and #2 – which come from plastic drink bottles, plastic lids, grocery bags, shampoo containers, and detergent bottles. These types of plastics are also often found in disposable food packaging.
The going rate for them varies, but on average you can expect to make $1.20 per pound of plastic scraps. With the average office worker using about 500 disposable cups every year, you do the math.
Most Profitable Scrap Plastics
If you’re trying to calculate whether selling your scrap plastics is worth it, you’re probably wondering which types of plastic are the most profitable. You might be surprised to find that your office or facility is routinely tossing these into the trash.
Keep in mind that prices will fluctuate, but at the time of writing, these are the most profitable types of plastic scraps:
- Plastic #6 polystyrene: Styrofoam containers, CD and DVD cases, egg cartons, and disposable cups
- Plastic #4 low-density polyethylene: packaging foam, shopping bags, thin plastic wraps
- Plastic # 1 polyethylene terephthalate: drink bottles, condiment containers, oil bottles
The easiest way to find out the types of plastic your business is generating is to look at the bottom of the most common plastic recyclables, which will usually indicate the numerical code for the type of plastic they’re made up of. For example, bottles, cups, and food containers usually have this information on the bottom.
You can also familiarize yourself with other common plastics that go through your facility to get a better idea of what types of plastic waste your organization is producing.
Companies That Buy Your Scrap Plastics
Once you’ve decided to recycle your plastic waste, it’s time to partner up with a company that can take it off your hands.
You can look up local plastic recycling facilities and compare their services. What types of plastic you have may determine who you can and cannot work with.
Some types of plastic, however, are considered “non-recyclable.” Not to worry, though, because there are companies out there that offer more unique recycling solutions for these plastics. For example, Arqlite will use your plastics to create an environmentally-friendly lightweight aggregate called “Smart Gravel” for use in construction. You’ll also receive a recycling certificate that quantifies your sustainability impact, which you can use in your company’s messaging.
Saving Money With Commercial Plastics Recycling
Profits from selling your scrap plastics aren’t the only thing that can boost your company’s bottom line. When you partner with a recycling facility, you’ll also be saving lots of money.
Chances are, if you’re not recycling your plastic waste, you are disposing of it in a landfill.
This means you’re spending money on waste hauling, landfill fees, and taxes.
Depending on the amount of waste and your local landfill tipping fees, your business could be saving thousands of dollars per year by diverting plastic waste to a recycler.
Being More Environmentally-Friendly
It’s no secret that recycling your plastic waste will score your company some green points. Not only does it feel good to know that you’re saving the planet, but your customers will likely appreciate your services more if they know you’re taking steps to be more sustainable.
Studies show that 72% of consumers are actively buying more environmentally-friendly products than they did five years ago, and the trend is expected to grow.
People want to work with companies that care and take action to make a positive change in the world. Your employees will probably appreciate it too. A recent study found that 65% of surveyed employees said they would be “more likely to work for a company with robust environmental policies.” Happier workers and better employee retention can lead to big savings, too.
When you take steps to recycle waste and reduce your footprint, make sure to incorporate your achievements into your company’s messaging. It can significantly elevate you above the competition given our society’s growing demand for corporate social responsibility.
Positioning your business as the more environmentally-friendly option can gain you market share, more happy employees, and an increase in your bottom line.
If you haven’t considered recycling your company’s plastic waste, this is a great time to look into it!
More and more customers are starting to pay attention to sustainable business practices. Your business can align with sustainable customers, help save the planet, and potentially make some money at the same time!
There are many ways commercial plastics recycling can save you money – from eliminating disposal costs to actually putting profits back into your pocket.
With many different recycling options available, you can pick and choose where your waste goes. Do you want your company to lead the way in saving wildlife from harmful pollution? Or perhaps you want to help others lead the way in developing innovative products out of recycled materials? Whichever route you choose – you’ll be doing more good for the world and for your stakeholders. Being environmentally-friendly can help boost your profits and savings in the long term by attracting more customers and more loyal employees