Repurposing Plastic Waste

Repurposing or “upcycling” waste enables communities, individuals and business owners to transform what would otherwise be an environmental and social burden, into something of value.

TARGET USERS: Individuals, Businesses, Industry, Government

KEY CONSIDERATIONS: Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless, or unwanted products into new materials or products perceived to be of greater quality.



Far too many resources and secondary materials are disposed of prematurely, not only under utilising their worth, but also creating large volumes of burdensome waste that many communities simply cannot manage effectively. However, there is a growing call for circular models that place great value on keeping resources in circulation for continued use, often to the benefit of local entrepreneurs.


When waste is created, the waste hierarchy prioritises reuse. Where possible, reusing products and materials before it becomes waste is the next best option. Upcycling makes new use from an old item. Examples include plarn (plastic yarn), which repurposes plastic bags. Statistics show that 21% of Americans upcycle clothing, boxes, and goods regularly – reducing the need for the production of new goods (source: 


See Reuse ModelsSource SegregationMunicipal Collection


Entrepreneurs in the Philippines repurpose waste to create merchandise

Common Parts, Romania

Common Parts is an upcycling luxury womenswear brand, based in Romania. 
DesignerS work with textile waste from clothing factories or other types of discarded fabrics and aims for a ‘zero waste’ process for the entire production cycle. See Revibe for more information and examples.

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