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  • Shubha Suebsukhchareon

Upcycling is the New Recycling

Upcycling Defined:

Upcycling, a term not many recognize, but a term that will soon revolutionize the way we manage waste. Upcycling can be defined as the process of transforming unwanted and undesirable products into innovative products perceived to be of greater value and eminence.


In simple terms, instead of turning a Heineken bottle into another bottle (i.e. Recycling). Upcycling, turns a wine bottle into a multipurpose drinking glass. The value? A product that is now deemed as more useful for the everyday consumer. Don’t get us wrong, recycling is highly beneficial for reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills, decreasing pollution and helping to fight climate change. However, there is a clear distinction between the two.




Is Upcycling not another word for Recycling?


In simple terms, the answer is no.


The difference being that recycling breaks products down into raw components to make something new from them. Whereas, Upcycling is giving a new life to an already existing product that has not been of use. Therefore, upcycling extends the life of an already existing item and reduces the need to use raw materials.


Reduce, Repurpose and Upcycle: the new saying?


At Rescued Glass, we believe that the upcycling process is a sustainable solution that will be adopted in years to come by many more individuals. This is because, we have seen that there has been a shift consumerism and consumption patterns over the past decade. Individuals are much more likely to evaluate the environmental, social and ethical impacts of goods and services before purchasing them. Thanks to the power of social media, individuals and environmental advocates are able to share their knowledge and approach to ethical consumerism and living a no waste sustainable life. Take Buzzfeed for an example, they’re popular video “Living Waste Free for a Week”, yielded more than 1M views. This attests to the fact that people are interested in sustainably and green living. People in the 21st century are readier than ever to live sustainably. Therefore, we believe that upcycling will be adopted in the future and we cannot wait to see how this will favorably impact the environment.


Should we stop Recycling?


No! As mentioned recycling is highly beneficial to the reduction of waste and to help fight climate change. Both upcycling and recycling significantly reduces that amount of junk that rots in landfills for a very long time. However, at Rescued Glass, we uphold a greater stance on upcycling, as we believe that using the same ‘waste’ and creating it into a product of greater quality and artistic value is more, well valuable!


Benefits of Upcycling!

• Upcycling allows you to save money as it allows products to be used to its fullest extent. (Who doesn’t like to save money? We sure do!)

• It helps save the environment. Earth is practically begging us to live greener, before it’s too late. Upcycling helps reduce the emission of toxic greenhouse gases that heavily contribute to climate change.

• Upcycling not only keeps tons of waste from entering lakes, landfills and waterways (where they will rot for centuries!). It reduces the C02 entering out atmosphere by making use of old materials!


Brands that Upcycle:


4. Indosole – Indosole are on a mission to change the course with responsibly made flipflops. They upcycle tiresoles with a touch of natural rubber. These flipflops are made without the use of any animal products or fueled powered machinery! How amazing is that!


3. Chop Value- Did you know that 20 million trees are destroyed every year to produce utensils? And an astonishing EIGHTY BILLION pairs of disposable chopsticks are used then thrown away each year? Inspired to make change, Entrepreneur Felix Bock launched Chop Value which repurposes bamboo chopsticks into creative and beautiful home décor and products. How environmentally impactful!


2. Osom Brand- Did you know, for every ton of tossed textiles that gets upcycled, 20 TONS of CO2 is prevented from entering the atmosphere. Osom Brand combats textile pollution with their upcycled socks. These socks are made without dyes or fabric treatments that are harmful and toxic to the environment. Their approach to a circular economy, by keeping textiles out of landfills and repurposing them is one step to a greener future!


1. Rescued Glass- Did you know that 28 BILLION glass bottles and jars end up at landfills every year? At Rescued Glass, our mission is to minimize our impact to the environment so that we can create a better, brighter and more sustainable future for generations to come. We rescue glass bottles and jars and transform them into artistic and decorative household items. Our mission is to maximize our social and environmental impact, one bottle at a time. With a range of products like our handcrafted wine decanter, Grey Goose vase and our Roku Candle, there is something for everyone!





Upcycling the trend of 2021?


To conclude, at Rescued Glass we believe that Upcycling is the new approach of managing waste and will be heavily adopted due to the change in consumption patterns. With the vast amount of benefits to the environment, we believe that it’s time to act now. With your support at Rescued Glass we can make a meaningful difference, One Bottle at a Time. Shop now

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