How to Make Money Recycling Plastic in 2022

Make money recycling plastic

Can you still make money recycling plastic in 2022?

Before I answer your question of the day, let’s understand what plastic recycling is.

What is Plastic Recycling?

Plastic recycling is the process used to convert waste plastic or scrap plastic into useful new products. The goal of recycling plastic is to reduce the alarming rate of plastic pollution and curb the demand for virgin materials to produce brand-new plastic products. This strategy helps to preserve resources and divert plastics from landfills or unintended destinations such as oceans to good use.

The plastic recycling process involves collecting, sorting, shredding, washing, melting, and pelletizing. The exact plastic recycling processes differ based on plastic resin or the type of plastic product. The series of processes involved gives you ample opportunities to make money from recycling plastic.

So, how do you make money recycling plastic in 2022?

As I earlier mentioned, the different processes involved in recycling plastic present you with unique opportunities to make money recycling plastic. Here are 6 ways to make money recycling plastic.

4 ways to make money recycling plastic

1. Returning Your Plastic Trash

Plastics, glass, rubber tyres, etc., are broadly classified as dry waste from homes. They can be recycled or upcycled, and some companies make money recycling plastic. However, as an individual, you can also earn from returning your plastic. Instead of giving it away to rag pickers who sell it to companies for recycling or just discarding it to make $0, you should consider playing the #TrashEvolution game by EVO3D. This contest gives you the chance to win up to $50 for returning your waste plastic.

Make money recycling plastic and others
Make money recycling plastic and others with EVO3D

2. Collecting Plastic Waste

If you collect plastic waste and bring it to any plastic collection centres around you, the trash will be weighed and checked for quality, and then you will receive money (credits) for your work. In some innovative cases, the value of your returned plastic can be transferred via a mobile Blockchain app into a digital bank account for you. As a collector, you get to interact more with both consumers willing to return their plastic waste and recyclers ready to buy whatever waste you collect. You can also participate in the #TrashEvolution game for collectors coming soon.

Plastic Bank project participants

3. Sorting Waste Plastic 

As a crucial part of the plastic recycling ecosystem, employed waste sorters are at the heart of the plastic waste processing journey. You can apply to work with recycling companies as a waste sorter and get paid for your work. This means that you are now making money from recycling plastic as a direct part of the system.

A fulfilled employee of Wecyclers sorting plastic in Lagos, Nigeria

4. Shredding & Washing Plastic Waste

Some recycling companies have a complete recycling operating line that includes all from collecting to processing the collected plastic wastes. However, they are not near enough and the industry is in high demand of recycled plastic. 

If you don’t wish to cover all parts of the industry and the earlier mentioned avenues for revenue are not suitable to you, you can setup your own min-processing plastic recycling plant. This way you can buy already sorted wastes in bales, crush, and wash them before selling them for final processors for more profit.

5. Processing Clean Plastic Waste

This is often where the plastic recycling journey ends before waste plastics are transformed into sparkling new products. Making money from this part of the plastic recycling process requires a substantial amount of financial prowess. 

Most people refer to this process as the “recycling plant” when they discuss recycling. It is here that the shredded and washed plastic gets melted and cut into nice cylindrical bits (also known as pellets). The process is industrially known as pelletization. These pellets are sold to manufacturers to enable them easily make new products as if from virgin plastic.

Blue and Yellow plastic pellets

6. Upcycling with Waste Plastic

This is sometimes considered the simplest option to put something to use that would otherwise have been thrown out. 

For example, my friend found a 20-litre plastic gallon on her neighbour’s trash pile and repurposed it for her compost collection. Planting seedlings in used yoghurt tubs or using plastic party plates for plant saucers in your small farm or agric practice are other examples.

Did you know that plastic bags can be cut into thin strips and used as yarn, sometimes called “plarn” for crochet and knitting projects? 

Waste plastic bottles can be used for all sorts of purposes, from drawer organizers to funnels, and even drip irrigation. You could make money recycling plastic this way and packaging your new product for the right customers around you.

Upcycled plastic bottles for garden light decor

Read More – Complete Guide: How to Recycle Plastic


Recycling is great when we get it right. Our whole human production activity should be a closed-loop process where everything goes back into the system and nothing is “wasted”. After all, that is how nature works. While we are still far from achieving our global recycling goals, we have made progress, especially with influencing behavioural changes, and EVO3D’s #TrashEvolution game is a great example. Nonetheless, we should try to minimize our waste by replacing disposables with reusables.

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