Upcycling entails creative reuse, or the transformation of by-products, useless, unwanted and wasted materials into new and better products for the environmental, social and economic value.
The aim of upcycling is to hinder the waste of potentially useful junks which in no small extent reduces the using up of new raw materials when creating new products. It is believed that most old junks can be reused again either for its original purpose or to fulfill a different function.
However, this is different from recycling which relates to the breaking down of used items into raw materials for the manufacture of a new product. A lot of benefits are attached to the reuse of old junks, that is why most countries of the world today practice the reuse of old junks or wastes to the extent that they make deposit Laws and regulations that allow for the return of products like refillable bottles after they are being used.
Importance of Upcycling
In recent time, most countries of the world are beginning to support and sponsor the idea of upcycling, and this is because of some of its benefits. The following are some of the advantages of upcycling;
- Upcycling helps in the reduction of the size of landfills, which further helps to reduce the strain on our environment through the utilization of waste products. This is beneficial to individuals because it eliminates the payment of landfill fees.
- Upcycling helps to conserve natural resources, when most of these old junks are disposed of, instead of reused, there tends to be a high usage of natural resources.
- Upcycling helps to save money, by ensuring an efficient economy.
- Upcycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions that are responsible for global warming by reducing the number of pollutants which are released upon the manufacturing of new products.
Though upcycling requires planning, the benefits derived from it are worth it.
Ways to Reuse Old Junks
It is essential for one not always to throw everything away; we should recycle when we can. And this is why there are several ways in which we can reuse junks and wastes to deliver social, economic and environmental benefits, they include;
Through deposit programs
Through this program, consumers of products are offered financial incentives to return packaging for reuse. Most countries reuse product through this means, for instance in Denmark, with the help of the deposit Law and Regulations, about 98% of bottles are returned by consumers to be refilled after they had served their purpose.
Items like clothes, children’s toys, and home appliances often lose value to the initial owners or become unwanted due to changes in preferences. When this occurs, such items could be reused by selling them or giving them out as gifts to new owners. Also, this way of reuse can take place through charity arrangements which suggest an informal way of gifting out items mainly as charitable deeds.
This is a way to reuse old junks in which a particular tool may be used as a different tool, for a purpose which was not intended by the original user. This applies to items that are already considered to be junks.
This involves the facilitation of waste products from a process mainly as raw material to another process. This way of reuse reduces the cost of disposing of wastes and also using new raw materials for manufacturing of products.
In conclusion, upcycling has shown significant growth in the most part of the world today, and this is because of the enormous benefit derivable from it. The environmental benefit of upcycling is enormous, apart from reducing the volume of discarded waste and materials, it reduces the need for production using new or raw materials which means there will be a reduction in air pollution, gaseous emissions, water pollution and other environmental hazards.