up·cy·cle

/ˈəpˌsīkəl/
verb
1. reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original.

Unlike REcycling, where consumer materials are broken down into their base components, UPcycling takes those consumer items and builds them up into something useful. Surfrider Foundation has always encouraged people in all communities to refuse single-use plastics wherever they can, and recycle those products that they can’t avoid. But what about the products that can’t be avoided or recycled? Like plastic bags, cardboard boxes, shipping materials, plastic bottles/cups, and so on. Now those items can skip the landfill and get a second life!

People have been very creative with this process, so we have a few examples for inspiration:

Have an idea of an upcycling project you can make at home? Join our Surfrider Upcycle contest! (Deadline to submit is AUG 31st)