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Recycling VS Upcycling

What is the difference between Recycling and Upcycling? The misconception about this topic is common. Let’s go through this.

Recycle means converting wasted materials into new materials again. Indeed, Recycling brings a product back to the start point as a raw material, to give it a new life successively.

Upcycling is a process that allows the new product to be worth much more than before. Upcycling a product means allowing it to have a new appearance and a new aim, as good as new. It consists in converting existing products/materials into something new, with new standards without losing the original qualities and properties that identifies them.

The main difference is in the energy that is used: recycling has more energy expenditure, considering that a product is destroyed during the process. Upcycling doesn’t imply material destruction, this is why it is more efficient regarding energy’s consumption. This way the value is captured and the loop is smaller.