So what's the difference between upcycling and recycling? Well, upcycling refers to reusing an object in a new way without degrading the material it is made from, whereas recycling involves breaking down the original material and making it into something else, using more energy.
Upcycling has been becoming popular in several countries, where there is an increased interest in eco-friendly products, particularly those that are both affordably priced and profitable for the manufacturers.
Upcycling is used on a range of products including jewelry, furniture and fashion items, such as making bracelets from old flip flops, lamps from blenders, and turning skateboards into furniture such as chairs and bookcases.
One British company uses industrial waste to make new luxury products, turning fire hoses into bags, belts, wallets and cufflinks.
A design store in Vienna in Austria called Gabarage lets customers look through trash like used plastic covers, old computer chips, and discarded X-rays and pick what they like to create their own individual bag. They also make other pieces of furniture such as couches from rubbish containers.
TerraCycle, set up in 2001 by U.S. college freshman Tom Szaky, turns drink pouches into backpacks and cookie wrappers into pencil cases or kites, paying schools and other groups a small amount to send them the old packaging to be upcycled.
TerraCycle also makes a line of clocks, coasters and picture frames from vinyl records and circuit boards, with major companies like Kraft and General Mills sponsoring the company's waste streams.You can watch the short video below about fire hoses that have been upcycled.