Why waste upcycling brings a promising alternative to recycling

Deko Eko

March 22, 2021

Usually, business owners start to think about better waste management in one of the two cases. Either the company rapidly grows, thus the costs related to waste rise - or - there’s a regulation that brings forward new rules of conduct. For example, the new waste tax in the EU, will mean extra costs for every kilo of unrecycled waste of plastic packaging. 

But outside of the Excel spreadsheets that show the need to optimize the “waste numbers”, there’s also the macro scale of our environment to consider. Choosing the most efficient and sustainable way to deal with waste management means benefits for more than one stakeholder. Which method - recycling or upcycling - is better in the case of your business?

Read on to find out why our call is waste upcycling.

Upcycling projects create added value in the new products

Let’s start with a bit of theory. 

Through waste recycling, materials are deconstructed into their most basic forms. An outcome can be one singular material or a mix of raw materials which can be then used in the same manner as before. 

How does it work?

PET bottles can be made from 100% recycled plastics. However, PET can’t be turned into anything else through the process of recycling.

Waste upcycling, on the other hand, aims at embracing the full value of waste and creating entirely new products out of it. Here are some examples - paper pulp can be turned into stylish lamps, meanwhile glass bottles into trays and plates.

This added value stems from the creativity of designers who bring their craft, and pour their heart into each upcycling project. While recycling is purely a mechanical process, upcycling brings in creativity and helps to find new destinations for used materials and products before they even become waste.

Project: https://dekoeko.com/products/bottle-bowl

Waste upcycling opens a dialogue inside the company (outside too)

This method of waste management is a great opportunity at involving your employees in an internal initiative. Regular waste, which is generated in your office, can be used as a means to organize a waste awareness day at your company. Bringing the teams together will be an opportunity for them to bond, and the products created through upcycling will be great gadgets for the participants. Your employees would learn more about sustainable waste management - potentially applicable to their own domestic „strategy” too - and have a gift to remind them about the initiative.

As a business owner or a manager, you also recognize the value of the so-called “good PR”. More consumers, as well as employees, expect companies to be fully transparent and actively participating in social matters. Can upcycling become a shot at viral content?

Well, there’s no doubt that transparency in your business conduct is key to winning customers.

And waste upcycling creates unique opportunities to showcase the company in a different light. Emphasize the need to take care of the planet - not by hollow promises, but by taking real-life actions. Organizing your company’s waste management in a more sustainable way can prompt good changes in the behavior of your employees, and have a positive impact on your brand awareness too.

And what about your social media?

Sharing images from the upcycling events will prompt positive responses, and prove to your customers that they chose a responsible partner.

Project: https://dekoeko.pl/products/007-mavaron-green

Upcycling works on a smaller scale

You might be wondering - why not opt for recycling that also helps in shaping the better future of our planet? 

The biggest limitation of waste recycling is that its effectiveness depends on the material. While cardboard, paper and glass are perfectly suitable for recycling and yield satisfying results, plastic requires very big tonnage, as well as the addition of new plastic components to make the chemical process occur. 

Waste upcycling is a different story. 

Thanks to a range of methods and machines used in the process - such as compressors and extractors - waste upcycling of every material is easy. Furthermore, it does not require a heavy, industrial scale. As explained above, upcycled items can be repurposed again too, hence further keeping the resources looped.

Over to you!

Upcycling creates opportunities that range from cost optimization to PR buzz around your brand. Depending on the scope of the project - as well as the needs you will list for your company - the results can be great for both your employees as well as your customers and prospects. 

Experts in the field of waste upcycling are in your reach now. Let’s have a chat about the smarter solutions that we can apply in your waste management strategy.

Contact us via Email at office@dekoeko.com.

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