What is Downcycling?

You have heard the term downcycling and not been sure what it was in reference to. It has to do with the process of taking waste materials and then converting them into new materials that can be used. They will have a different function though at that time. This process is one that is very helpful to the environment. It ensures that what would possibly end up in a landfill can be used for household needs or by a business.

In addition to reducing costs for production downcycling also helps with reducing the amount of energy we consume. It takes more energy to create new products from raw materials than it does to use the old products to make something new from them. This process also helps to cut down on pollution to the air and water.

Downcycling involves breaking down products. Often people will use the terms recycling and downcycling to mean the same thing. However, they are different in terms of what they do. Recycling is the process of collecting materials so that they can be used again. Downcycling is the process of them actually being broken down and then converted into other products.

Downcycling is done at a processing plant and there are many of them around the world. They will take various products such as paper, cardboard, glass, tin, aluminum, and plastic. Then they have a process for getting them into a given form that can be used again. This helps us to avoid consuming many of out nonrenewable resources as much as we did before.

The fact that there are more people on  Earth than ever before makes recycling very important.. Technology has allowed us to benefit through the many forms of downcycling out there. In fact, studies show that today up to 80% of what we toss into the trash can be reused or recycled in some form.

The process of downcycling means that items made from common materials can be put together. They don’t have to be sorted. For example for a plastic plant they can talk all the different shapes and sizes of plastic and make them into a uniform product. They create a liquid, process it, and then place it into molds so it can harden.

What is Downcycling?

Downcycling example. Tire-swing.

Many products lose their volume and ability over time through downcycling though. Still, being able to recycle it for all it is worth is very important. For example when you recycle paper it can be used again. However, when you recycle that paper a second time you will  have less to work with from it.

Glass is the only recycling material that seems to have a never ending lifespan. That is perhaps why there are so many products out there offered in glass containers rather than in plastic ones. As the processing for recycled materials continue to expand and new technology is involved the benefits will only continue.

Through downcycling we can significantly cut down on the amount of waste that will be found in our environment. At the same time we can take pride in being part of the solution. If you are interested in seeing downcycling procedures you can watch videos online. It can be exciting to see those items go from one that is about to be tossed into the landfill to creating something new.

There are also informative shows on TV about them. They take you inside of the plant where you can see the process from start to finish. It just goes to show you that we have the power to make changes to our environment if we are determined to see it happen.