Photo by Johnny Briggs on Unsplash
Is upcycling really helping the planet’s waste problem?
To upcycle means to reuse discarded objects or materials and to transform them into products that are of higher quality or value than the original. Upcycling is one of the ways to reduce waste, by repurposing objects and turning them into new ones. But how far can upcycling go in tackling the planet’s waste problem?
Perspective 1: Upcycling can extend the lifespan of “waste products” by turning trash into treasure.
Upcycling creatively transforms or repurposes disused materials into valuable and useful products, giving them a new lease of life.
By focusing on creating demand for materials already circulating in the economy, this can help manage dwindling natural and finite resources.
Perspective 2: Upcycling does not tackle unsustainable consumption habits that lead to waste.
The root of our staggering waste problem is unsustainable consumption habits, be it excessive consumption or reliance on purchasing all things new.
Upcycling or recycling cannot solve the mounting waste generated by humans or pollution arising from it. Much like the adage, prevention is better than cure, a mindset to reduce waste rather than constantly seeking solutions to a persistent and compounding waste problem is needed.
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