Development of business model for Bhenchen Baratabaran Sanrachyan Udyog

The Bhenchen Monastery in Swayambhu, Kathmandu, initiated an environmental project in 2018 to establish a plastic recycling industry. The monks initially installed machinery at Bhenchen Gumba but faced challenges, especially in sourcing plastic materials at competitive prices. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated these issues. To scale up their efforts, the monks collaborated with other monasteries and invested in a plastic processing center at Taudaha. Their monastic appearance posed challenges in the industry, leading them to seek help from ICIMOD, which connected them with Green Road Waste Management (GRWM) and Green Decisions Labs (GD Labs). An MoU was established to conduct a comprehensive market study in Kathmandu, focusing on plastic collection sources, aggregators, and market channels for the end product.

The study aimed to develop a sustainable business model for Benchen Batabaran Sanrachyan Udhyog. Key objectives included optimizing the supply chain to ensure a reliable flow of plastic waste, evaluating financial

sustainability by considering all operational costs, exploring opportunities for value-added products to enhance profitability, formulating a strategic plan with clear short-term and long-term goals, assessing the broader societal impact, and recommending measures to improve operational efficiency.

The study involved data collection, measurement, and placement planning of machinery, and a survey of waste generation and composition. A market survey for raw plastic procurement was conducted, identifying local vendors and aggregators in various areas of Kathmandu. Based on these findings, soft and hard plastics were purchased, and the necessary quality and quantity of raw materials were finalized. Training on proper plastic segregation was also provided by GRWM operators.

The initial operational team consisted of a caretaker, cleaner, and visiting machine operators. Monthly salaries and regular expenses such as rent, water, and electricity were accounted for. The production rate and energy consumption were analyzed, revealing an average production rate of 397 kg of pellets per day. To improve efficiency, the team visited other recycling facilities to gather ideas for washing, drying setups, and heater installations.

The appropriate machine settings for producing PP and HDPE pellets were determined. A breakeven analysis was conducted, considering the cost of raw materials, utilities, and human resources. The market for potential buyers was surveyed, with samples provided for testing. Several industries expressed interest in purchasing the recycled pellets, indicating a positive market response.

The establishment of Benchen Batabaran Sanrachyan Udhyog is a commendable effort towards sustainable plastic waste management. The study provided a comprehensive understanding of operational challenges and opportunities, emphasizing the importance of collaborative partnerships, production optimization, cost analysis, and market identification. By adopting a strategic approach and maintaining flexibility to adapt to market dynamics, the initiative is well-positioned for sustainable success. The recommended business model aims to ensure the efficient management of plastic waste, environmental conservation, and community upliftment in the Kathmandu Valley.

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