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Upcycling vs. Recycling

Most of us may be familiar with the term “recycling” but maybe not so much about “UP-cycling”. What do the two terms mean and how do they differ? Which one is better?

Recycling involves converting discarded materials into another reusable product. During recycling, everyday household items like plastic, glass, and paper are broken down and then processed to create something different. The final product from recycling is usually of lesser quality.


On the other hand, upcycling entails reinventing unwanted items into a higher-quality product. During upcycling, the individual does not send the items to recycling centers for breaking down. Instead, one has to put their creativity to use and repurpose the item into something desirable.

Examples of upcycling are making furniture out of wooden palettes, turning used glass bottles into soap dispensers, or creating upcycled bags from discarded kitesurfing sails.

Upcycling has considerable benefits. Some of the advantages that the process has to offer include conservation and fostering innovation. Thanks to upcycling, we get to cut down on waste that finds its way to landfills and water sources. Some of this waste may cause land degradation or affect living things from runoff into the ocean. Products from upcycling are also unique and stylish because it allows creators to think outside the box. The more innovations the merrier! Letʻs continue to think of new or better ways to be eco-friendly.

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