So now that you’re up to speed on what upcycling is let’s see who’s out there, doing some upcycling.
First, look up. If you’re in a city or driving, there’s probably a billboard somewhere near. They’re made largely from vinyl and don’t recycle easy, if at all. 10,000 tons, or 3 million billboards get thrown out each year in the US. Vy and Elle has decided to do something about that. A lot of somethings in fact. From petite handbags to large travel bags, each of these is absolutely unique, being cut and assembled from a part of a billboard, never to be repeated.
Look on your stove. Got some leftover cooking oil? A company called Filt out of Tokyo takes that from the cafe their office is above, filters it and makes it into candles, using glasses they’ve found in nearby recycle bins.
Look in your pocket. Got a credit card that’s expired? Wait, don’t shred that! I found this clever reuse for them: Guitar picks. Who knew that something as relatively mundane as your atm card, gift card, or credit card could be made into something so beautiful and unique? According to the piece, there’s even a device custom made to do this process. I can see 4-5 picks coming from one card. Think about all the music they’d make, from one, previously “worthless” piece of plastic.
Look around you. What else can you upcycle today? Make into a product tomorrow? Create a company around this year? We at Terracycle have made an entire company from this idea and would love to hear what ideas you have for the next revolutionary upcycled product.