Upcycle or Recycle: Which one is the most environment friendly?

The two terms “Upcycle and Recycle” are used interchangeably most of the time, but they are not same. Recycle means the breaking down of used or waste products into the raw material which can be further used to make another new product. The recycling uses resources like electricity, water, machines, labour, and others for converting the product into raw material. For example: to recycle the used plastic products, the recycling firms bifurcate the alike plastic material and break them into smaller parts to manufacture new products. Whereas, upcycle means reuse of the waste materials, by-products, useless, or unwanted products creatively into new materials or products that can be of great quality. Upcycle does not use more resources for converting the available waste into raw material.

Here are some of the initiatives that are focused towards the “Upcycle” or “Recycle” concept

Aarohana is a Social Enterprise based in Pune (India) focused on the conservation of environment and heritage, enabling rural livelihoods and simultaneously creating conscious consumers. The firm is resolving the issue of Waste Management by UPCYCLING waste plastic into beautiful handcrafted fabric. The entire process is manual and uses the Indian traditional CHARKHA and HANDLOOM. The fabric manufactured from plastic waste is used to manufacture consumer products like handbags, fashion accessories, office utilities, and home decor products among others. Moreover, I have purchased a pencil pouch and coin pouch from Aarohana Pune Store, which is manufactured from the used plastic, as well as, I have also donated plastic bags that I have deposited from the last 2 years of my daily usage. As I don’t throw plastic bags into the dustbins because these plastic bags destroy our environment. By using these plastic bags again, we can not only save our planet, but can also decrease the production chances of these kinds of toxic products.

The best solution is not using these plastic bags, but there are times when we can’t help and need to take them. At that time, we should keep this thing in mind, that what we are using? Will not get dumped into the site and we are going to take responsibility for reuse, recycle or upcycle of the particular product.


Shailaja Rangarajan has started rimagined in 2016 with the experience of around 15 years as a business consultant. Rimagined is an enterprise that aims to provide an Upcycled alternative to consumers for everyday consumption. It is based in Bangalore for offline purchase whereas its online store has a global presence. To date, rimagined has transformed 120+ MT of material and has created around different 500+ products with the help of its 30+ team members. The materials including fabric, denim, rubber, wood, glass, and yarn are upcycled to give another life to them while protecting our environment and available resources.

Recycle Man of India

Binish Desai most popularly known as “The recycle man of India”.  He is converting bio-medical waste especially single-use masks, head cover, and non-woven PPE kit into bricks (P-Block 2.0). The biomedical for recycling is collected from hospitals, salons, bus stops, schools, and other public places by placing ‘Eco Bins’. The environmentalist and innovator from Gujarat has also manufactured P-Block bricks before, which are made up of waste produced in paper mills.

Let’s think!

How beneficial it will be for us and our environment when we start using all plastic waste into construction. The expanding construction activities have hiked the demand of construction material including bricks, if this plastic waste which was manufactured by diminishing many other resources like water, electricity, and others will get recycled into bricks. The whole structure of the economy will change and we will be able to create a sustainable living.

It’s a dream now, but our collaborative efforts can bring it into reality.

Here is an example of my contribution to UPCYCLING

I have used all the paper packaging which I bought including biscuit package (dark fantasy, Oreo, etc.), green tea packages, sweet packing, and others for making drawings or else I have used the consumer goods packets as a canvas for my drawings, which has not only given life to the used packets but has also given an eco-friendly canvas to my hobby. 

These types of small mindful contributions can not only save our environment but will also help us in living a healthy life. We are busy in our lives that we don’t pay attention to these things which are demolishing a healthy environment.  Someone has given a great line that depicts:

The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it


Published by aayushisthought

I am a person who like to explore the thoughts which create feeling of exotic, chaos and the kind of amusement.

9 thoughts on “Upcycle or Recycle: Which one is the most environment friendly?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: