What is Upcycling?

Upcycling is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, or unwanted materials into new materials or products. This is a great, innovative and creative, way anyone can reduce waste.

For example, instead of throwing away old wine or beer bottles, you could cut off the top and use them for candles, planters or chandeliers. In doing so, this prevents the wastage of resources and the amount of glass that may go to landfill.

The Benefits of Upcycling
  • Upcycling reduces the amount of waste going to landfill and contributes to a circular economy.

  • It creates opportunities for us to rethink our actions towards waste management.

  • Allows us to develop ways for us to use the materials we already have/own instead of buying new items.

  • Reduces the excess packaging, waste and plastics that come with purchasing many commercial products today.

  • Eliminates the need to use fresh raw materials required to manufacture new products. By reducing this need, we also reduce air pollution, water pollution, landfill use, and even greenhouse gas emissions.

What Can You Upcycle?

The good news is that you can upcycle absolutely anything! There are no limitations to what you can make. You may consider upcycling aluminium cans, carboard boxes, old furniture or even clothing. A great tip is to consider upcycling those materials/items that you would normally put straight into the bin.

You could:

  • Turn an old ladder into a bookshelf

  • Turn a wine bottle into a pendent

  • Turn old paint cans into planters for flowers, herbs or hanging plants

  • Use mason jars as planters

  • Upcycle plastic containers into storage options

  • Upcycle wine bottles into wind chimes

Check out the following websites for some creative inspiration:

Not only is upcycling a great way to help the environment by reducing the amount of waste going to landfill, but this is also a great activity you could do when you have some extra time on your hands.

The countless products that you can create from upcycling most definitely outweigh the issue of increasing waste to landfill, making upcycling a practical and viable solution to Australia’s ongoing waste issues.

Next time you find an unwanted item, why not upcycle it? We would love to hear from you on the creative ways you turn your trash into treasure. By upcycling you are taking positive steps to impacting the environment for the better.

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