It’s the holiday season and time for presents, especially if you have children. Did you know that 80% of plastic toys end up in landfills, incinerators, and in the ocean? or that most toys are broken and/or discarded within six months? Plastic upcycling may help.

A Belgian company has created upcycled products and a campaign for schools to increase recycling and ecological awareness in children and their families. What’s upcycling?

Many people are familiar with the notion of recycling – what isn’t generally understood is that recycling is a salvage process that downcycles which “involves converting materials and products into new materials of lesser quality. Most recycling involves converting or extracting useful materials from a product and creating a different product or material.[1]

“Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless, or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.” – Wikipedia

While upcycling can provide new business opportunities, and potentially solves the problem of unwanted toys, it doesn’t stop wholesale plastic pollution. It may just be more prudent to give presents that don’t contain plastic or that provide experiences instead.

Want to learn more about upcycling? This book is a good start.

Read more about the Belgian company.