Upcycling takes recycling options beyond the bins

Local refill shop talks about upcycling.
Published: Mar. 18, 2023 at 11:42 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - March 18 is World Recycling Day. Recycling centers in the Valley are becoming more inclusive with what they can accept, but advocates know recycling becomes even more beneficial for the planet when a product can be used again.

Refill Renew in Staunton knows the world around us is more sustainable than what can be sorted out in bins. Owner Mandy Drumheller said upcycling is a great alternative for recyclables to get reused creatively.

“Those products that you did want to recycle are going to get new life. For instance, coasters from Pop Plastic are made from #2 and #5 plastics that couldn’t be recycled, but now they have a new opportunity in your home that you’ll use for a long time,” Drumheller said.

Global statistics say only 9% of all recycling actually gets recycled, according to Refill Renew. Its best advice for reducing plastic from our oceans and landfills is to reuse the bottles we already have.

Drumheller said upcycling extends the life expectancy of renewable products just like recycling. One of the first ways to start at places like Refill Renew is by bringing clean bottles and jars.