Best Ideas 2022 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.

Recycling PET plastics for environmental sustainability and achieving a zero waste economy.

Stage of Idea start-up stage

Explain your idea in details:

The idea is a PET bottle recycling initiative that is environmentally friendly and driven to solve the problem of significant negative externalities caused by mishandled post-consumer PET bottles and to aid win the fight against the menace of plastic waste. It derives its core from circular economy techniques and concepts from the ReSOLVE framework of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. It employs mechanical recycling which offers promise as a way to close the loop and uses only 10-20% of the energy required to make virgin plastics. The main objective is to create an optimum closed permanent circular system that maintains and maximizes the environmental value of the PET bottle to create a quality food grade recycled PET resin that can substitute the virgin resin, and be used in identical and other types of products thereby reducing the injection of new virgin bottles into the economy as well as creating social, environmental and economic values in the process. The idea is built on these processes or activities. Post-consumer PET collection: This process ensures that various collection strategies are employed to remove the post-consumer PET bottles from the environment and also ensures bottles do not end up in landfills, oceans, drainages, ravines, etc. reclaiming a valuable resource. Post-consumer PET recycling: With the idea of waste as a valuable resource, we put the dirty bottles into a mechanical recycling process that reverse engineers the bottle and produces pure and quality food-grade recycled PET resin as output. The by-products of this process are then processed or upsized into valuable applications which is consistent with the circular economy concept that encourages zero-value waste processes, finishing the cycle of waste to landfill by adding value to all streams of the recycling process.

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Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development

The idea if operational is expected to generate a triple positive impact on the social, environmental, and economic subsystems of the planets natural ecosystem. In the environmental subsystem, in addition to removing the bottles from the surroundings, it contributes to a cleaner environment because, in the process of converting them into food-grade recycled resin, it reduces by 78% the greenhouse gas emissions against virgin resin. The positive social impacts are considered in terms of the provision of fair and stable income rates that dignify the conditions of the waste pickers who will directly or indirectly work with the venture. At the economic subsystem, The bottle recycling operation adds value and contributes to the sustainability of the packaging sector as well as provides a return on investment to shareholders and customers. Recycled PET substantially reduces fossil-fuel consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions. This is an improved shift from the current linear production model and means the end-of-life for plastics is well managed and a valuable resource is recovered. It is expected that our activities will achieve the following goals under three broad measurable indicators. social value a. improve the socio-economic situation of waste pickers b. the value of the PET bottle is maintained for the longest time possible (ideally, in a permanent way). environmental value I. recuperate the bottles to prevent pollution of soil and water. II. Advocate the Ghanaian PET packaging industry to comply with the APR design guide for plastics recyclability to improve the recycling viability of the bottles in the market. economic value i. guarantee to customers a price for the food grade recycled PET resin equal to or better than virgin resin under any market condition.

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Plans for implementation and sustainability

Our target customers are producers who use PET as their main packaging material in the bottle and cosmetic industries as well as jewelry manufacturers who use PET in their sustainable jewelry products. The idea offers the value proposition of sustainable packaging leading to Eco-friendly products and a green economy, solving the plastic waste their productions are currently causing. Our main product is food-grade recycled PET resin restored to manufacturing quality. Our revenue will come from direct sales of products to customers. Since inclusiveness is a core principle of our sustainable business model, we will form key partnerships with informal waste collectors, NGOs with aligned goals, environmental agencies, and the community to help achieve a zero-plastic waste society. Our source of funding will come from potential investors and grant opportunities from potential partners with aligned interests.

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Your profile

My name is Samuel kyere and I am an ambitious 28 years old male from Ghana a country located in West Africa. I hold a bachelor's degree in social science(economics) from the University for Development Studies and I am fluent in English. I am an aspiring entrepreneur with the vision to build interconnectivity of recycling systems that turns waste into a valuable resource for both households and industrial consumption through continuous innovation, inclusiveness, and respect for environmental sustainability to protect the unique interactions of the earth's natural order. I possess special analytical qualities and problem-solving capabilities as well as the ability to understand business systems. I have recently been accepted as an alumnus of the Tony Elumelu Foundation. I have also been researching business opportunities in emerging economies in Africa for the past 3years and that is how I came up with this idea to address plastic waste which is a major challenge in many African cities.

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