The main raw material is bagasse pulp which is obtained from sugar making plants. The process includes five key steps covering pulping, moulding and drying, sterilization and edge trimming and finally packaging. The following flowchart highlights the production process of bagasse-based tableware. The idea behind understanding the technical process allowed the authors to estimate accurately the cost and the revenues of the manufacturing process as shown in the first two sections of the results. A further step was needed after calculating the revenues and costs. The authors allocated several technical assumptions that were reflected in the different scenarios proposed to minimize the cost of production of this novel process. Finally, the technical manufacturing process was evaluated accurately using a simulation modelling to study the cost of investment and the profits generated.
A raw material comparison between Styrofoam andbagasse is performed in terms of density, price per ton, price per piece, volume and weight as illustrated in Table 3.
Cost Estimation of the Lean Manufacturing Process
The bagasse pulp is received wet in the form of sheets; it is dried using heating to protect it from spoiling during the storage period. The production process begins by immersing the chopped bagasse pulp in 95% water (Fig. 1) and adding oil and water repellent for preserving the final product. One percent of both the oil-resistant agent (solid content 23.48%) and the water-resistant agent (solid content 21.76%) is added. The addition of the oil repellent avoids the spoiling of the tableware bagasse products from oily food, and the water repellent is used to add the hydrophobic property to the final fabricated tableware. The water-resistant agent and oil-resistant agent refer to a series of additives that reduce the surface tension of paper prevent leakage. The homogenous paste after passing through three mixing stations is pumped using a well-designed pumping system (Fig. 2) to the forming moulds at a temperature of 150 °C with constant pressure of 0.024 MPa at 10 min (Fig. 3) to take its final shape. The semi-finished product is transferred from the forming moulds to the drying moulds to remove moisture. The bagasse tableware products are then moved to the trimming machine (Fig. 4); each final product shape will need its own trimming machine to cut any extra edges formed during the production process so the final shape would be symmetrical. The cost of producing sugar is not included in the process since the waste of the sugar is the one that is used. The only cost that is accounted for is the cost of changing the sugar waste into pulp.
The authors also synchronized the wastes requirements in the new proposed biodegradable tableware production process in Table 4. The wastes are classified into lean wastes and green wastes. The importance of classification of waste is to achieve the lean manufacturing process.
The cost of the lean manufacturing depends on the factors mentioned in Tables 5 and 6. It includes the raw materials used (bagasse pulp, oil, and water repellent), water and electricity consumption, the number of workers needed, the plant rental cost, and the machines used for bagasse-based tableware production. The bagasse pulp price is 14,000 EGP/ ton; 5 tons will be produced each month as a start. The price of the raw material is (5*14,000) 70,000 EGP/month. The cost of the oil and water repellent added is 320 EGP/kg. The amount used per day is 1.6 kg (0.2 kg/h. for 8 h/day). This adds up to 42 kg/month. The total cost of the oil and water repellent per month is 13,312 EGP/month. The suitable area of the factory is 180 m2; the rental cost is 18,000 EGP monthly. Two workers are hired for 8 h/day for 26 days per month. Their salaries are 10,000 EGP/month. The total price for the machines required for running the plant is 947,000 EGP including three different forming moulds and their corresponding trimming machines. The chosen semi-automatic machines’ working capacity allows the production of about 750 pieces/h.
Revenue Streams Calculation
The calculation of revenue streams is based on Table 7. This study is targeting certain segments such as food outlets and restaurants, retail chains selling to consumers, and companies with green initiative as they use tableware and packaging daily. Furthermore, the authors investigated the added value as a result of manufacturing by-products resulting from the sugar industry, which is the main product of sugarcane and sugar beet, which represents a great value and a great relative importance. The value of molasses produced from an acre of sugarcane is about 3264 EGP, and the value of the slurry produced from the filters for the sugarcane industry for 1 acre amounts to about 162 EGP, in addition to the value of the bagasse products, which are about 7270 EGP, and then, one acre of sugar cane achieves a return of about 10.7 thousand EGP of by-products, and thus, the net yield of 1 ton of sugar cane can be calculated about 209 EGP, as it is clear that the price of a ton of sugar cane increased by 105 EGP, to become about 305 EGP.
Cost estimation of Transportation of Sugarcane Bagasse Pulp
The governorates with the highest sugarcane cultivation yield in Egypt are allocated. This is followed by estimating the number of vehicles required for the monthly transportation of Bagasse pulp from one of those governorates to Cairo where the manufacturing plant will be allocated. This will entirely depend on the size of the bagasse sheets and the number of sheets required for monthly production in Cairo. The bagasse pulp will be transported from the most widely cultivating governorates for sugarcane in Egypt to the plant site in Cairo. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation in Egypt, the largest area for sugarcane cultivation is Qena governorate; it occupies 57% of the total sugarcane cultivation land followed by Luxor, Aswan, Menya, and Suhag, respectively, as illustrated in Table 8.
The bagasse sheet specifications shown in Table 9 were essential in calculating the transportation fees, as the number of vehicles required will depend on the vehicle capacity, according to the size and weight of the sheets (Fig. 5). The capacity of the shipment trucks required is 2 tons/vehicle, accordingly; the transportation of the 5 bagasse pulp tons required every month for production requires three vehicles. The cost of transportation from Qena (chosen as it has the highest sugarcane production) to the plant site per vehicle will be 10,000 EGP; hence, the total monthly costs for bagasse pulp transportation will be 30,000 EGP.
Feasibility Study Scenarios
Table 10 includes the assumptions reflecting the market conditions that are needed to consider while developing the various manufacturing scenarios.
Each scenario is based on different assumptions reflecting the market conditions that needed to be considered while developing these scenarios. Researchers wanted to quantify the impact of key assumption in order to assess their actual impact on profitability. These scenarios represent actual market conditions for a more realistic reflection of the market in Egypt.
First scenario: The base case where no changes were applied to any of the relevant factors as shown in Table 11.
Second scenario: Extending the shift of the workers to 10 h with over time as shown in Table 12.
Third scenario: Having two shifts, each last for 16 h as shown in Table 13.
Fourth scenario: The base case was applied considering the elasticity of demand where the price lowered to $0.2 which is equivalent to 3 LE as shown in Table 14.
Fifth scenario: Besides lowering the price to $0.2, the entrepreneur can also seek financial support from Egyptian government where this amount might cover the rental for 5 years as shown in Table 15.
After applying deep study to the five scenarios, it was found that having financial support was the best decision of all. This fact is very valuable as it proves the support needed to encourage entrepreneurs to get involved in producing eco-friendly products. As the profit margin is high, it is an excellent choice for entrepreneurs seeking to produce an eco-friendly product recycling agriculture wastes.
Tables 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 detail the assumption and the gain/loss of each scenario.
The base case scenario was modelled using Powersim software which has different simulation tools covering all the needs when building simulations, risk analyses, and optimization  as shown in Fig. 6. Different business strategies will be tested to decide the best scenario that suits the expected demand in the market relative to the production constraints. The simulation tool verified the net gains of bagasse production calculate din the base case.
Selected Indicators for Bagasse (Green Material) Selection
Egypt is a suitable market for producing bagasse tableware products due to the availability of bagasse cultivation and sugar factories in Egypt and the lower labour costs compared to the international markets. Due to the high cost of producing tableware, different scenarios were carried out to analyze all the factors relevant to the project trying to reach the best cost, quality, resources, and revenue. The authors selected the manufacturing cost economic attribute. The economic model is based on using local bagasse waste instead of using imported treated bagasse sheets. They also selected the environmental indicator which is highlighted in saving the energy all through the manufacturing process and the reuse of resources. Moreover, the mentioned bagasse production process uses 43 MJ to produce 1 kg of bagasse paste (and the other additives ready for producing a plate), while the energy required to produce 1 kg of Styrofoam is 90 MJ . The manufacturing process is designed to use recycled water to decrease the energy consumption. Additionally, the production concept is based on circular economy which fits well with the environmental attribute based on solid waste production and use of recycled materials. The authors did not define profits as the main criterion of the business success. They placed great emphasis on life-cycle environmental impact of table ware products. The life cycle assessment for bagasse indicated less carbon dioxide release when compared with petroleum-based plastics. The authors selected the bagasse waste due to its suitable mechanical properties for the packaging application. The selection of material in the business model was based on environmental and social perspectives to ensure recyclability and reusability of the products and enhance their sustainability. Bagasse is an eco-friendly product that enjoys many benefits. It is a renewable resource since it is extracted from sugarcane so sugarcane can grow very rapidly and its sustainable resource that is why we are making product from bagasse those products will be sustainable for the future generation and have no impact on our limited natural resource . Bagasse is not harmful since it doesnot contain CO2 free because the whole production is free to harmful and after using these products we do not need to incineration because these products are biodegradable. It is a substitute for plastic because it is made from degradable materials and it is not harmful to soil after it degraded within a few months.
On the contrary, traditional plastic tableware factory generates more toxic emissions (nickel, ethylbenzene, ethylene oxide, benzene) to air, water, and soil than baggage-based tableware factory. It can be hazardous to workers as serious accidents may include explosions, chemical fires, and spills. It was found that many chemical additives that are usually used to give plastic products desirable performance properties have sever negative environmental effects on both human and animal . The abovementioned negative impacts are only few of the actual negative effect of plastic products on the environment, animals, and humankind.
Besides, the production of tableware form bagasse follows the concept of circular economy and sustainability since it accomplishes the cradle-to-cradle concept and avoids landfilling of bagasse waste. This new introduced manufacturing process focuses on returning waste materials back to the production processes and closing the loop of materials. Additionally, the idea of exchanging of waste materials among industries is highlighted in this manufacturing process since the raw material of bagasse pulp is commonly used in paper making. However, the use of paper is declining due to the advanced technology. The authors believe that the solution presented in this work is a sustainable solution due to the large amounts of sugarcane waste available in Upper Egypt .