Recycling, downcycling and the need for a circular economy

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What happens to the plastic and paper that you’ve carefully sorted into separate bins?

We like to believe those old items are remade into new items and get cycled over and over again. In reality, most recycling is really ‘downcycling’. And while recycling, downcycling, and upcycling all help to preserve the life of raw materials and some of the value that went into creating them, there might be better ways to do it.


What’s the difference between recycling, upcycling, and downcycling?

Recycling is the process by which waste products are broken down to their basic materials, and remade into new products. Ideally, this should mean less need for virgin raw materials. Instead of mining or creating new raw materials, it should be possible to use recycled materials instead.


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