Would it be possible to create a micro-business

Hello, I don´t know, if this is the right thread.

When I read about this project I was very excited like the most of you. I am a member of an association called technology without borders from Germany.
As we have projects in Ghana concerning recycling (Recycle up, Ghana!), this could be a solution we are looking for. We want to collect plastic in schools and don´t know, who can process it afterwards.

At those who got deeper into this matter or even already built some machines:
1. This is a great open source project, but would it be possible to create a microbusiness out of it (for example in Ghana)
2. Has anybody made a kind of feasibility study or datas concerning throughput, energy consumption, material costs… (of course I know: costs depend on the country, throughput depends on the product sizes, etc.)

Thanks for answering, guys!


if you are from Africa this is the right place to post, most plastic is reusable so you can sell it a raw material for starters, then when you get some money you can start making the machines posted on the website to start making your own stuff to sell.

your links didn’t work for me, server DNS address could not be found. is what it told me. try posting the websites as text next to the link just in case this happens.

Namaste from the Unityeco village Social organisation
We heard about you have regional office in Nepal.
We are Social organisation from the Unity eco village. .
We are interested to invite you and helps to protect for recycling plastic bags and bottle in Nepal to improve the quality of the Unity Eco village Sosial organisation for Environmental Projects helping hand for Building plastic Bottles house and other things
If you are interested in volunteering in Environmental projects in Nepal
If anyone interested in this project please let us …
The Unity eco village Social organisation Kaskikot 4 Pokhara Nepal
Kaskikot 4 Pokhara
E-Mail ecounityvillage@gmail.com

Hi Jojo
Really good to find Amazing projects
WE ARE interested in creating micro business and management of the Recycling and waste management
from the Unity eco village
We like to invite you all to Explore in Nepal Environmental Projects
Anyone interested in Volunteering in Environmental Projects in Nepal
we arrange long visa’s for voulonteers involved in helping hands for helping to improve the quality of the Unity Eco village Sosial organisation for Environmental Projects helping hand for Building plastic Bottles house and other things
Please let us know
If you are interested in volunteering in Environmental projects in Nepal
If anyone interested in this project please let us …
The Unity eco village Social organisation Kaskikot 4
Pokhara Nepal

I really like the idea of building materials for communities that are in remote areas but have plenty of plastic waste around, such as garden tiles, pavements, etc. I have been looking into different products and believe it is viable but mostly to supply individual communities, as plastic things are so cheap, but shipping is not.

Thank you, @redgurrillia for your support! I’m absolutely sure that this is a GIG project… full of benefits to anyone: reducing waste by its recycling, small and sustentable start-ups… it will help people see plastic not as waste but as an opportunity to provide themselves with useful things for their daily living.

I remember what my mother and my grandfather told me about the life in our country after the war, about how the people carried their meals to the local bakery to get their lunch baken. It could work too with plastics, people saving their plastic waste and after carrying it to the local “plastic artisan” to get lamps, flowerpots, roof-tiles (that’s a GREAT idea I never thought, mate!) and so on…

And, as plastic is a long lasting recycle material, there will be a point where not only the plastic waste but also the daily plastic useful things they got could be re-recycled into new tableware, lamps, forniture… reducing plastic waste and increasing micro-business growth.

As @davehakkens gave us the machines to do it, it’s just the molds to make it happen. Please, join the topic http://onearmy.world/community/forums/topic/mould-design-community-what-if/

I believe this could really be a viable micro-buisness, the only real hurdle to take is creating molds that are useful. obviously, pots, containers and things like roof-tiles can be created with this, but that’s not all. With creativity, I believe that pretty much anything can be made with these machines, it’s just a question of time. the more time put into designing molds that result in useful stuff, the more viable a micro-buisness gets.

as @dzspain pointed out, there is a topic aimed at creating useful molds. the more people get involved, the more useful things we can create!

Hey jojo I’m also from germany and working with refugees (some from Africa some from Syria etc.) i would realy like to get involved in your project, we may find a solution! 🙂

Hi @jojo and all the people here! I think we have a real problem when trying to produce, recycle or reuse the plastic with the extruder machine… the lack of moulds. Maybe the “technologists without borders” could give a nice aid on this topic.

Please, feel free to join my discussion about a Plastic Mould Design Community / Open Library at http://onearmy.world/community/forums/topic/mould-design-community-what-if/

Every idea is welcome!

Plastic is an interesting medium. If you for some reason wanted to recycle styrofoam, you’re going to find yourself wondering if it’s worth it. A styrofoam (polystyrene) cup only takes 1 or 2 small pellets of plastic to make.

I think one of the interesting problems is that here we have the tools, but we need to be able to produce something useful as a product to make it worthwhile. People are quite crafty, i’ve seen hand bags made from toothpaste tubes, totes made from cement bags… we just have to figure out what people want and what’s valuable. There’s no point in producing more rubbish. Also, plastic can only be recycled a limited amount of times before it breaks down and becomes unusable.

Material Costs. I’m currently looking into the costs for building the shredder. I’ve found that the steel plates used in the construction is sold in sheets that are 4’x8′ each. This will no doubt provide material for more than just one machine…something i’ll try and calculate during this week sometime.

Plastic costs. This depends on your source. If you source from schools, then it might be free. If you source from companies…well…this might cost. Indonesia has these “plastic mafias” that are very protective of their sources of plastic from companies. The plastic gets recycled somewhere and somehow, but this would require some investigating in your community to figure out where it goes. I prefer the idea of keeping things local if possible, no need to ship plastic all over the world when you can deal with it locally.

This project is still a bit new, so i think having good figures right now may be a little difficult to come by. give it a few months and we’ll see what comes up!

If you have looked at some videos on youtube you would see that dave has made a medium sized trash bin onlying using 1kg of plastic.
Medium meaning would fit about 2liters from 1kg of plastic.
Only faq i have not see is how many hours does it need to burn to melt (obiously depending on the type of plastic used) but seems that most of the plastic floating arround us are quite thin and flamable and i would assume that melt time would be about 10-20mins depending on how much plastic you have in the mold.

Same question as @jojo…wish to know the amount of raw material that would be needed.

The FAQs helped me for my first question! Thx for that!
Unfortunately I could not find any numbers concerning throughput. So I am still looking for rough numbers to get an idea, how much plastic is needed and how many can be produced.

Have you read the FAQ @jojo you may find helpful

Regards micro-business, I think absolutely 🙂

Hi @jojo, I moved your post & gave you your own topic

@pegasus: I am not from Africa (actually I am from Germany), but I work with a lot of Ghanaian guys, who are involved.

Sorry, for the links. Technology without borders (german/ghanaian association) (We have Regional groups in Germany and Ghana. But we are implementing projects in lots of countries in Africa, Nepal, Nicaragua…)
Recycle up, Ghana! This project needs a customer, who can process the collected plastics.

@enviro thanks for shifting this conversation into a new thread and I think it is absolutly worth trying a microbusiness. I just wanted to have legal security in this open source project.