While some materials such as aluminum can be melted down and recycled near indefinitely, most materials lose quality when they are recycled. Plastic food containers cannot be remade into new food containers. That plastic has to become a cheaper product such as building insulation, while new virgin plastic has to be made to make more plastic food containers. This loss of value is why traditional recycling can be more accurately described as downcycling.
What exactly does upcycling mean? What makes upcycling different from recycling, and why is it all the rage amongst environmentally minded communities? Find out with our article here, posted in collaboration with NYC sustainable stylist Lauren Engelke.
The term Upcycling came to prominence in 2002, but the idea of Upcycling has been around for as long as humanity has been making waste that could be Upcycled. At Rust and Fray, we love Upcycling in all its forms, so we’ve got a collection of Upcycling ideas that your Grandparents and Great Grandparents might’ve done.