Upcycle: “Reusing (discarded objects or materials) in a way that results in a product of higher quality or value than the original.”
Do you remember the tearjerker “Gone with the wind”? Scarlett O’Hara’s mother sewed a dress from the sheer curtains. Pretty? Let’s say it’s a matter of taste. But it was without a doubt an innovation. In the year 2019 we can no longer deny the need to reuse our waste: we simply have to. But you can leave the curtains hanging. Plastic recycling is where we start.
A few years ago recycling had a dull and dusty image, yet these days it is hip & happening to partake in upcycling. The plastic recycle technology has grown rapidly. We outline a few innovative, lovely and handy upcycle projects for you. In some projects the plastic waste is incorporated so well in the new products, that it is not even noticeable.
1. Upcycle plastic: Elho flower pots
Dutch glory. Elho from Tilburg has been making flower pots for over 55 years, and a few years ago they started to make them from old plastic. Their motto: “Give room to nature”. They are doing a great job living by that motto. From watering cans to pots, in many different colours. Even if you lack the natural talent for growing plants, these products will give you green thumbs. And it is an effective way of recycling. Their watering can for instance, is made of 12 plastic detergent bottles.
2. Upcycle plastic: H&M conscious exclusive
These days the store’s of the Swedish fashion company H&M present the new ‘conscious collective collection’. The collection is not only beautiful and fashionable, it also shows that there is no need for our outfits to overburden the planet. Amongst other things the collection is made of old fishing nets, PET bottles and old polyester. Next to this they swap leather for Piñatex®, a product made of pineapple leaves. We love the courage and resourcefulness of this Scandinavian fashion concern! It is pure innovation. JASA truly enjoys initiatives like these.
3. Upcycle plastic: toys made of flip flops
Flip flops. You probably wear them during holidays, those summer-vibe shoes in fun colours. To us, they are mainly an item to wear in the summer, but in many countries people wear this footwear on a daily basis. In Brazil, India and Kenya there are many initiatives to reuse the waste of these multifunctional shoes. There is a factory in Kenya, Oceans Sole, where the flip flops are being upcycled into joyful toys, door stops in many different colours, and waterproof fruit bowls.
4. Upcycle plastic: license plates
More and more often the letters on your license plate are made of recycled plastic. So, would you like to have a cool sustainable plate on your bolide, look for a license plate made of recycled plastic.
5. Upcycle plastic: construction materials “Smile Plastic”
The company Pyrasied has a huge selection of kitchen counters, tiles and sliding doors made of upcycled plastic. The foundations of these products is acrylate, which they obtain by melting plastic. The material is easy to saw, mill, bend, etcetera. They use the plates to build shower cubicles, showcases, and any thing else you want. They even have plans to make the acrylate available to 3D printing. A true innovation!
Are you a bit of a handyman? Start upcycling! Check out some inspiring ideas and get started. To get new inspiration JASA visited the Household Waste Plant in Alkmaar (HVC). Eleven of us went on the excursion at HVC, a trip that made us hold our breath. Read about this experience and our newly obtained insights!
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