The Upside of Downcycling: How Plastic Bottles Can Become Plastic Picnic Tables | Waste Wise Products

The Upside of Downcycling: How Plastic Bottles Can Become Plastic Picnic Tables

We’ve noticed that there are a lot of misconceptions about the recycling process. Many people are apt to assume that every time they recycle a bottle or can, that it is automatically broken down and transformed into another bottle or can. While this may seem to be the most logical explanation of what happens to our recycled items, it is actually far from the truth.

While some items are suitable to endure an infinite cycle of regeneration into their previous state, many others are transformed into entirely new products through a process called ‘downcycling’.

Downcycling vs. Recycling

Recycling is the process of regenerating a product into its previous state through a cycle of breaking it down and recreating it. On the other hand, downcycling involves taking discarded items and breaking them down to turn them into a completely different product.

Many items are downcycled due to the fact that they may lose much of their mass as they are broken down into their pure material. It may take far too many recycled bottles to create a new bottle, so instead of repeating the bottling process, these bottles will now be turned into a completely new, and often unexpected, product.

Extreme Trash Makeover

Many everyday items that you use may never be given a second thought as to how they were made, or where they came from. If we knew the origin of some of our belongings, we would surely marvel at the ingenious process of how they were created.

The commercial park benches that sit outside of your office building, well, they were most likely made from piles of plastic shopping bags that came from grocery stores. And those plastic picnic tables that your family uses on Sunday trips to the park, those were once plastic water bottles.

Downcycled products are a better solution for the environment than most items that are made using newly created materials. The amount of resources that are used and pollution that is created to create brand new commercial park benches and plastic picnic tables far exceeds the amount of energy that is used to create them through downcycling.

Downcycled products are just as beneficial to the environment as recycled products, and due to the fact that they have comparable prices to new products, there is virtually no reason to create new materials when we have almost endless resources of discarded products waiting to become something bigger and better.

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