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How to start a Polythene and Plastic recycle business in Nigeria

There are a lot of business opportunities that abide in Nigeria apart from oil and gas as it seems that a majority of investors are all shifting most of their investments towards the oil and gas sector. The fact is that there are other lucrative business ventures that will yield a good return on investment. One of such lucrative investment we will be looking at in this article is investing in a polythene and plastic recycle start-up. With the right set up, you can easily rake in a few hundreds or even millions of naira annually. Read the details below and don’t forget to use the comment section if you have any questions.


What is polythene and plastic recycling?

Recycling simply means the movement through a chain or cycle. In the case of polythene and plastic recycling, it involves the movement of polythene and plastic materials which is usually in the form of waste to manufacturers for use in production.


Is polythene and plastic recycling profitable in Nigeria?

There is a big market for the recycling industry in Nigeria especially in plastic materials. Nylons, polythene and pet bottles litter a major part of the country due to the massive consumption of these products by the populace. Collecting these “waste” polythene and plastic products and recycling them will provide manufacturers with the raw materials needed in production of goods. The question is polythene and plastic recycling is profitable in Nigeria? I’d like to answer by simply asking you to count the pet bottles and used polythene bags in your litter box and multiply that number by 50 percent of the population and you should get an idea of the profitability of polythene and plastic recycling in Nigeria.


Starting a polythene and plastic recycling business in Nigeria

Before you venture into polythene and plastic recycling in Nigeria there are details you need to be aware of which will be important in helping you decide how to set up. Check the details below


The cost of setting up and running a recycling factory

It will be a great idea to own a plastic recycling factory as this is where you get to make millions annually but a lot of Nigerians and even foreign investors are making millions collecting and distributing plastics to recycling factories for a fee. It cost over 20 million naira ($55,000) to set up a plastic recycling factory. This includes the cost of building the factory and purchasing the needed recycling machines and other added cost. If it happens that you don’t have that sum of money you can still set up a used plastic collection and distribution business that will still rake in massive income annually. This is a good way to test run the plastic recycling business especially if you intend to set up a recycling factory in the nearest future.


How to collect and distribute plastic in Nigeria

It easier to start collecting and distributing plastic in Nigeria as majority of the populace dispose of polythene and plastics especially in the form of pet bottles and nylons. But before you start collecting and distributing plastics in Nigeria, you need to


  1. Know the type of plastic bottles that recycling factories need


Plastic recyclers are mostly in need of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles. These bottles are used in packaging most water bottles and drinks such as coca-cola, Pepsi, and other soda plastic drinks. These bottles are used in packaging these drinks mostly because of how easy it is to recycle. These PET bottles can be recycled and the by-products can be used to make plastic bottles, ropes, combs, combs, buckets, and other plastic products.


  1. Know where to find plastic bottles


There are a number of ways you can get access to plastic bottles


  • You can hire individuals and provide metal trucks for them to move around and collect empty PET bottles.


You most certainly have seen people moving around with trucks and scattering through garbage bins for recyclable waste products which includes pet bottles. You can hire these people and provide trucks for them and pay them at the end of the day when they return what they have collected. They are usually weighed and paid per kilogram.


  • Set up home collection network

The secret to making it in this business is to think smart. You can network with people in your street or area or shops and retail businesses in your neighbourhood and ask them to collect and store empty pet bottles for you and collect them regularly. The key to succeeding at this is to approach people with a friendly tone and if possible frequent the bar or retail shop just to build a close relationship that will be beneficial to you.


  • Restaurants, fast foods and event centers


Public places that get a lot of patronage such as restaurants and fast foods are a good place to get empty PET bottles. This is because they have a high patronage of customers who consume water and soft drinks daily. You can also check out event centers that hold parties such as wedding and birthdays as chances are they will be a lot of plastic wastes that needs to be collected after every event.


  • Check out public dump sites


Another place where you can easily get plastic bottles for distribution to plastic recyclers is public dump sites. You can hire someone or people who will help you collect bottles from dump site and pay them a fee after.


  1. Know how to transport the empty bottles


After collecting the empty bottles at your dumpsite, you also need to transport them to the factory. If you don’t plan your means of transportation properly, your profit margin could be affected. You need to find the cheapest means by which you can get the empty plastic from your dump site to the recycler’s factory.


Potential profit of the plastic collection and distribution business

Now there are a lot of factors that determines your profit margin as a collector and distributor of plastics to recycling factories. Your profit margin depends on the manner in which the plastic gets to the factory.


  • If you are responsible for sorting and cleaning the plastic bottles before they get to the factory, then you will be paid extra for your services.
  • If in addition to sorting and cleaning the bottles, you compress the plastic with a bailer and cutting machine you will also be paid for your services.
  • If after sorting and cleaning, you grind the plastic using a grinder, you will also be rewarded extra.


To determine your profit margin, let’s assume you are able to collect 1000 kg (one ton) of empty plastic bottles and intend to transport it to the factory your expected returns should be

  • The price for each kg of PET bottle is within the range of 30 to 40 naira which should amount to a total of 30,000 to 40,000 Naira for a ton of empty PET bottle. After removing the cost of transportation and other expenses, you should make nothing less than 5,000 naira as profit after each delivery.
  • If you are able to grind the plastic before transporting to the factory, you can be paid close to 90 Naira per Kg. If you handle every aspect perfectly, you can easily make up to 25,000 naira in profit.


On a final note

The key to succeeding in this business is to find the best means of transportation to the factory. This is where you get to spend a lot of money and if you want your profit margin to be high, you need to work out a cheap way to get the PET bottles from your dump site to the factory.

You would also want to consider starting your own recycling factory on the long run as that’s where most of the profit lies since you will be selling the raw materials to manufacturers.

It is also important that you check with the local waste management and recycling organization in your area to find out if there is any registration necessary as this will be beneficial in ensuring your business operation runs smoothly without interference from the authorities.







Updated: August 5, 2018 — 9:18 pm

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