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Hi, glad to hear you are taking a heads on approach toward resetting people’s thoughts on their waste.
I’ve been working on a customer focused business model for a precious plastics operation for some time now.
I am a fan of Simon Sinek, an author and public speaker. He has a book, Start with Why. There’s a number of youtube videos of Simon talking about this principle.
“It’s Not About What You Do, It’s Why You Do It”
Why do we make goods out of recycled plastic?
Why do we pick up other people’s trash?
My major focus is on creating products that convey a message that we need to move beyond plastic. Every piece of plastic ever made still exists on the earth and will for generations. Your grandkids are going to have to put up with all the plastic each and every one of has created though our purchasing decisions. I’m still working on generating the right buzz-words and catch phrases for my marketing.
It is my intention to make patio furniture (awaiting v.4 to get going) that contains the message that plastic isn’t going anywhere, why that’s a problem, and why making choices to reduce or even eliminate plastic from your life is best for you, your family, and the planet.
I really like Plastik Kembali’s social media material. Check them out!
I hope this helps, please continue the conversation to help with all our marketing efforts!
Another thing I’ve thought of, different products need varying amounts of plastic to make. I could sell a $80 pair of sunglasses using a small fraction of plastic compared to an $80 chair. Essentially, my cleaning, sorting, shredding efforts are are much greater to earn $80 for a chair than $80 for a pair of sunglasses.
If there were a section indicating how much plastic would be used, and how much needed to process, a simple formula would divide up the indirect labor cost more proportionately.
I plan on starting with a single product and adding more products over time. What do you think about having a tiered production schedule in this calculator?
For instance, I want to make patio furniture, starting off with rocking chairs. After a few months, I’ll add side tables and regular chairs. I’ll then add dining chairs and picnic tables a few months after that.
Another thing, when I sell my art, I’ve asked for an additional 10% to go toward my plastic recycling effort. I’ve received quite the positive response. Maybe we should ask for tips, and send these additional funds to PP HQ?
I am working on getting the final details together to build a business based on recycling plastic. I am a thriving artist in Hawaii with lots of local business connections. The stuff I make, whatever it is, will be sold in stores around my community. I have the support it takes to build a business out of recycling plastic. I’m going to do the best I can to type out how my business model will work. I am a much better talker than typer, so here we go.
Promote the value of purchasing recycled plastic goods beyond what the actual product is. Many people are willing to pay more for something if it’s attached to a set of values they believe in. Where I live, there are lots of wealthy people who care about the environment. I’ve decided my first product will be based on the simplicity of design, amount of plastic needed and premium price possibilities. Patio furniture. First, I’ll make rocking chairs because it conveys a lot more emotion than a bench or chair. By perfecting the components (beams) to make a rocking chair, I can use the same basic raw materials to make benches, tables, regular chairs, picnic tables, etc.
I will also sell kits so customers can assemble the furniture at home. Additionally, I will sell several at once to a bed and breakfast or resort. Think of the audience we’d have. They are wealthy, influential, and sitting in my rocking chair.
The core of my decision:
Make something creative and with broad appeal.
Make something where you can streamline and produce in bulk.
Make something that sells itself as well as the idea behind it.
“This is a recycled plastic rocking chair, made form milk jugs and bottle caps. Please choose sustainable alternatives to plastic.”
Author and public speaker Simon Sinek famously had a TED Talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action“. People don’t buy what you do, but why you do it. I’ve learned a lot from Simon, check him out.
There’s so much more to the business case for recycling plastic, its sort of hard to get out of my head when I’m sitting here on my couch talking to myself.
thanks for the tip on fume management, I was thinking of outfitting container to where its well ventilated. I was under the assumption that since the plastic isn’t being burnt, but only melted, the fumes would be minimal. I’ll look further into it. I haven’t made any prototypes yet, I was thinking of making a plywood rocking chair to start. Correct me if I’m wrong, but an injection machine would work only for smaller items, right? Living on an island, we all know each other. I have a friend who works for the county recycling department. The local community could easily be a resource as well. I have the interest of a couple local non-profits, who want to take initiative in recycling plastic and moving toward plastic alternatives. Once I get things started, I’ll look for ways to expand with grants and financing.
I am used to coming up with creative ways to make a living, so I’m looking forward to this opportunity! I am confident I can produce a quality operation producing products people will want to purchase. I also have a handful of local businesses who believe in me and will sell whatever I offer them. I am an established local artist and am well known, so once I make a quality product I’ll be able to get the attention of the community and sell their plastic waste back to them! I initially wanted to use the extrusion machine to make boards, (and still may do so) but I’m concerned about dealing with the texture and potential air bubbles. In the coming weeks, I’m going to map out the manufacturing process comparing the two techniques to see which has greater chance for a quality product and which will take less effort. Once I get some more time available to dedicate to this, I’ll get more organized. I’ll check out the Discord app now.
To both of you, thanks for the support and feedback!
, nice and outstanding work, thanks for sharing. Unfortunately there are indeed just a handful evidences that this trade can pay the bills as far I know. It really depends on your skills, budget, network, etc.. everything is possible with patience.Kudos to the rocking chairs; other than injection & sheets via compression, you can use the extrusion which is a continues process you can automate with some extra efforts. Also quality is standing out. I’d setup even multiple extrusions for various profiles simultaneously. Competing with the furniture market is darn hard; here in Europe near impossible to get your feet in the door except you can build on a network, etc… If you could share in a dedicated thread more details on what you have, we have always some spare time for consultancy, getting enthusiasts ready; via email, whatsapp… PP is a little short of success stories and I am sure the community here can help you along. There is also this new Discord app btw.
I am an established entrepreneur and artist in Hawaii. I am currently developing my startup plan. From the looks of things at this point, I am planning to make sheets of plastic with a compression machine to make furniture. My initial product idea at the moment is to make rocking chairs! I feel like with the engineering and design challenge a rocking chair will produce, I will be able to then make other types of outdoor furniture including picnic tables, benches, and tables and chairs.
Here’s the business abstract for your review
Here’s a spreadsheet of product analysis
My design notes and product development isn’t packaged very well to go in the cloud. I’m busy with paying the bills, and am working with my landlord and family to transition into making plastic recycling my line of work!
oh, I just realized. Does plastic absorb into the fiberglass? If not, maybe that’s what makes it not very strong.
I too am extremely interested in making surfboard fins! I am about to embark on building a precious plastic operation myself. I have funding sources who want to know what I’m going to start making first! Surfboard fins are a great choice in a lot of ways (I live in Hawaii), but a real challenge to make a quality fin.
How have you progressed with your design since your last post? You’d mentioned bubbles, which likely make the fins brittle where they go into the fin box. Maybe a FCS II or Futures design would be better?
I read about a guy who was making blocks of plastic and fiberglass and machining it into a fin. What are your thoughts on this? Or maybe even a composite of wood and plastic?
Oh, and just to let everyone know, I went to engineering school, but no degree. I still have lots to learn!
Thanks, Stan! Yeah, with some initial research I saw it possible to 3D print HDPE and upon further inspection I find that its challenging to do. I’ve decided to start super simple and make HDPE boards for making outside furniture. I think rocking chairs would be a great start as with a little creativity I could charge more per volume of plastic than other furniture items. Of course, with this effort chairs and tables will come pretty easily alongside rocking chairs.
I had seen the video on 3d printing (quite some time ago, I’ll watch it again soon)
Glad to hear you also think patio furniture would be a good plan too!
I’d be stoked to have the PP V4 team come out and lend a hand! 🙂
Here’s a picture I took of one of my favorite places to hike!
So glad to see your progress in recycling ocean plastic! I’m about to get underway with recycling plastic in Hawaii and everyone I’ve been talking to is trying to get me to recycle ocean plastic. I’d been hesitant to start with ocean plastic due to the extra complexities, but after seeing this post, I’m reconsidering. What are your thoughts?
I am on Kauai and am just getting started making a plastic recycling operation happen. What island are you on?