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The Definition of Upcycling & 4 Ways It Can Help The Planet



When we think about plastic, it’s still hard for us to realize that the material is too valuable to just end up as waste.  

In an effort to close that gap, businesses have begun promoting upcycling or re-using plastic in items that we wouldn’t expect it to be found.  

So, what is upcycling?  

Simply put, the definition of upcycling is the process of taking worn-out products and transforming them into higher quality or new materials for better environmental value. 

Essentially, upcycling keeps waste out of landfills, water, and the air and it’s a great way to teach others about making better sustainable choices.  

When we upcycle, it lowers the number of materials industries use to make products…ultimately lowering pollution potential. 

Bringing Plastic into The Picture

Upcycling is a great practice when it comes to tackling plastic waste. Without it or recycling, plastic is burned and it releases CO2 into the air. But when plastic is upcycled, we don’t contribute any of the greenhouse gas emissions since we’re seamlessly weaving the product into something else with little to no production effort. Because of the variety and abundance of plastic, upcycling is always a good way of reusing plastic even before recycling it at a designated site. 

We know you might be thinking that upcycling can’t make that big of an impact on the planet, but when you dive into some of the benefits – the process really does wonders.

As easy as it is, upcycling benefits us environmentally, socially, economically, and personally.

Here’s how upcycling helps the planet!

  1. We save and reduce materials from landfill
    So many brands are making cool items from old “stuff”. In fact, many of items that were once on their way to the landfill have been reclaimed by creative geniuses via upcycling.
  2. We use fewer natural resources
    Upcycling existing resources means that we don’t have to use any new raw materials in the production process. That’s a win-win situation.
  3. We reduce manufacturing costs and celebrate artists
    Companies and designers that make items from reclaimed materials reduce large manufacturing costs. On a more chivalrous note, behind every product that is upcycled, is an artist whose work deserves to be appreciated. That’s always a plus!
  4. Anyone can do it and feel good about making a difference
    Upcycling isn’t only limited to big corporations or designers. We can all get creative by finding ways to turn our plastic waste (or other materials) into items we love.

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