Upcycling is also known as creative reuse, which is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless, or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value. It allows us to keep even single-use items in use indefinitely
The important thing to remember about why upcycling is important is that it’s an entirely different concept than recycling.
Recycling turns the products back into their raw form or an equivalent product. Cans back into their raw form of aluminum. Plastic stays plastic. Paper gets made into more paper. It takes a lot of manpower, processing power and machinery for recycling to happen. Oftentimes, the products are downcycled because they can’t be restored to the same quality of product. For example, we can only recycle paper seven times.
Recycling basically takes the waste items and takes them backwards in the chain to their raw state so they can be used again, usually in a similar manner. Upcycling, however, through the addition of design, takes waste items forwards in the chain to become more beautiful, more valuable and hopefully more desirable for years to come.
Reducing waste is the most important thing we can do. It saves energy because not as many products are manufactured, and also it saves the hassle of finding ways to dispose of it. There are only so many ways to upcycle a plastic bottle. After a certain point, we should try to reduce the number we bring home altogether.
Why do we need upcycling ?
- Conserves the environment
- the cost of production
- Conserves the limited resources
- Supporting local industries
- Encourages creativity and innovation