GREENPETClosed cycle collection and recycling system based on thermoelectric compression of PET bottles Project for the Think Beyond Plastic competition Official Contact: Lajos Simon, CEO, firstname.lastname@example.org Contact: Peter Kenedi, co-owner, email@example.com +36 (30) 948-2343 http://english.tepet.net/ Mezőfalva, Hungary „Waste is a valuable raw material”
The Problem to be SolvedThe emission of PET bottles continues to grow,which is a serious ecological risk as the efficientcollection and recycling of the plastic bottles arestill unsolved. The garbage islands on the oceansand in the forests and fields are mainly made ofPET bottles, causing irreparable environmentalpollution.In case of the current collection systems, the PETbottles are contaminated and their transportationis expensive, thus the recycling ratio is far belowthe desired and possible level. However, the cleanPET bottle that is not mixed with other kinds ofwaste is a valuable raw material (or it could be).
The Solution is: GREENPET (1) A recycling system that is based on the compressing and isolated collection of PET bottlesThe PET bottles shall not be mixed with garbage. It can be ensured, on one hand, bythe thermo-electric PET bottle compressing device that shrinks the empty PET bottle to1/12th of its original size, thus making the waste management convenient for thehouseholds.On the other hand, to increase the attractiveness of the selective collection, a return feeshall be paid for the compressed bottles, or a deposit system shall be introduced.The compressed bottles are then delivered to a recycling plant by inverse logistics (theaddressee pays the delivery fee), where after color sorting, grinding and washing, the highest value-added products are made from them. This method reduces the CO2emission to half compared to the conventional selective collection (considering the factthat the compression uses some electrical energy), and the delivery cost is much lower.The recycled products are priced very good, and the system itself can utilize asignificant portion of it: new PET bottles can be produced (thanks to the closed cyclecollection), and other good quality products can be manufactured, including the plastichousing of the household compressing device.
The Solution is: GREENPET (2) Beyond the household devices, automated machines can be operated in public places (shops, post offices, schools, etc.) They can either collect the compressed bottles, and provide the customer with a receipt against which the return fee (or deposit) can be paid, or can make the compression itself of the bottles got empty off home. If a deposit system is in place, the automated machines recognize the bottles by their shape, of by an RFID stamp embedded around the neck of the bottle. With this system virtually all emitted PET bottles can be collected and returned to recycle, with an efficient and cost saving method and without damaging the environment.
How does GREENPET make money? The sister company of Budafilter94 Ltd. – which is dealing with the GREENPET underpinning research since 2002 – will manufacture and distribute the new generation of the household compressing devices and the automated machines. This, or another new sister company collects the compressed PET bottles, arranges the transportation (e.g. by inverse logistics of the Post office), pays the return fees (or deposit) to the customers, and sells the compressed bottles to the parent company for recycling. The compressing devices are to be sold to households. The automated machines will not be commercially available, but instead a GREENPET-based franchise system will be placed on community spaces.
How does GREENPET Work?Compressing in Collecting points: households - Take over the bottles -Sell the household devices Return -Operate the automated fee, or machines Budafilter’94 Off home Deposit Ltd.collecting places: Process the color – supermarkets selected – municipalities compressed PET – schools bottles and sells – post offices the recycled – other community products places worldwide (Postal) inverse logistics
The marketing and sales strategy of GREENPET Beyond the usual commercial channels, the household appliances can be sold through post offices, municipalities and schools. It is also possible to provide the devices against a deposit to households that agree to return 1,000 compressed bottles per year through 3 years to GREENPET. This Hungarian model – if successful – can be implemented in the US. The „American business" consists of three distinct parts: GREENPET (or a new local sister company) would do the sales of the household devices. The manufacturing would remain in Hungary, but if the sales volume justifies, establishment of a new local factory is possible, too. The automated machines would also be manufactured by Budafilter’94 Ltd., but licensing to an American manufacturer is an option, too. A local logistics company (or even the Post Office) would conduct the entire collection, including the operation of the automated machines. One or more local plastic manufacturers would buy the compressed bottles as raw material. It can produce similar products and uses the know-how of Budafilter94 Ltd (housing of the device, special filters, strapping tape, etc.) against a license fee, or can manufacture anything else, including new PET bottles.
The competitors of GREENPETCompetitor is all communal waste management system, company andtechnology, but they all lack the 2 key points:The compression technology (the patent of Budafilter’94 Ltd.), that ensuresdouble compression ratio compared to any other known method. It meansmuch lower transportation cost (i.e. others carry at least twice as much airalong with the „payload”), easier handling and storage. Also, the compressionby electrical heat is permanent (keeps the compressed shape), while others,like the „cold” mechanical compression, are not.The closed cycle collection ensures high purity raw material (PET), which isthe basis of good quality recycled products. It can not only used by the foodindustry (unlike others where PET bottles are mixed with plastics of non-foodorigin or even garbage), but avoid the „pollution” of PVC, which, if present inmore than a few percentages, dramatically decreases the quality.
The GREENPET team Budafilter’94 Ltd is going to reshape one of its sister companies for the Think Beyond Plastic competition. The managing director and majority owner of Budafilter’94 is Lajos Simon, who is the owner of the related patents. The investors include an IT specialist, a waste management company and a public venture capital firm. The strategic advisor is a professor in the Budapest Corvinus University.
Financials of GREENPET GREENPET revenue (in thUSD) 2012 2016 2019Collection (ThermoPress Hungary Ltd.) collected compressed bottles (tons) 150 1 300 2 500 revenue from sales of compressed bottles 45 390 750 number of household devices in use (pcs) 20 000 200 000 400 000 revenue from sales of household devices 800 8 000 16 000 number of automated machines in use (pcs) 0 400 700 break-even volume of collection (tons) 500Recycle (Budafilter94 Ltd.) sales of recycled products (tons) 140 1 200 2 400 revenue from sales of recycled products 280 3 600 7 200Investment (between the actual and the previousperiod) collection 1 000 500 recycling 2 800 700 1 000Investments Total 2 800 1 700 1 500 owners / from profit 700 100 1 000 private investors 1 300 0 0 state subsidy 500 200 0 public venture capital 300 400 0 bank loan 0 1 000 500
Sustainability of GREENPETThe system itself guarantees the ecologicalstability. It turns a polluting activitiy into aprofitable, self-sustaining, socially beneficialone, and creates a quasi ecosystem whileremains comfortable for the customers.
The current status of GREENPET The sister company of Budafilter’94 was able to collect 100-150 tons of compressed PET bottles per year so far, with using previous generation, less efficient household devices and without automated machines in public places. The recent commissioning of its new 1200 tons capacity recycling plant proved that the conventionally collected, baled PET material can only be re-used at very low efficiency. This induced a strong focus of the GREENPET concept. The company therefore started to develop a new, improved and less expensive household device and the automated machines for public places, and is introducing collecting partnerships with supermarkets, post offices, schools and municipalities in order to provide sufficient raw material feed for its processing plant. Though the development of the new products is not yet 100% ready, the „Hungarian model” is working and does not require further investment. If we win the First Prize, we’d use it implement the system in the US, starting with the sales of the household devices, and continue with the other related elements (logistics, partnerships for the collection, etc.).