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Upcycling

Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless, or unwanted products into new materials or products perceived to be of greater quality, such as artistic value or environmental value. Upcycling is the opposite of downcycling, which is the other face of the recycling process. Downcycling involves converting materials and products into new materials of lesser quality. Most recycling involves converting or extracting useful materials from a product and creating a different product or material. Upcycling is the practice of creating a useable product from waste or unwanted items or adapting an existing product in some way to add value. The purpose of upcycling is reducing waste and improving the efficiency of resource use. Upcycling is a variation on recycling. Another variation, downcycling, is the practice of breaking down waste and unwanted items to their components or materials.

 

Upcycling represents a variety of processes by which “old” products get to be modified and get a second life as they’re turned into a “new” product. In this way, thanks to the mix and aggregation of used materials, components and items, the end result is a “new product” with more value than the original value of the sum of all its components.

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