Microplastics are tiny plastic particles measuring less than 5mm in size that have become a significant environmental problem. These particles come from various sources, such as broken-down larger plastic items, microbeads in personal care products, and synthetic fibers from clothing. They are causing harm to marine life, contaminating our food and water, and posing a threat to human health.
Recycling is one way to address the growing issue of microplastics. Collecting and processing plastic waste can be transformed into new products, reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in the environment. But more than recycling is needed to solve the microplastic crisis.
Upcycling, on the other hand, takes recycling a step further by reducing waste and creating new, high-quality products from discarded materials.
One advantage to upcycling is the ability to create a much higher-end product at a lower cost. New virgin materials are expensive, and by reusing higher-end materials that still have plenty of life, you end up with something of great value. One innovative example of upcycling and what we do at Dunsel's is the transformation of old sailboat sails into bags. The durable and weather-resistant sails are given a second life as stylish and functional bags, keeping them out of landfills and reducing the demand for new plastic bags.
Not only does upcycling offer a creative solution to the plastic waste problem, but it also supports the circular economy. By keeping resources in use for as long as possible and reducing the need for virgin materials, upcycling helps to conserve natural resources and reduce carbon emissions. By extending fabrics use, you spread out the impact of the manufacturing and raw materials, reducing the strain on the planet.
We have not closed off our circular cycle by having an end-of-life solution for our customer's bags. Still, we are working daily to create a way to tie up our participation in a truly circular economy which includes a product made from upcycled materials or marine waste in our case and has a route for it to travel, aka the product in a customer's hands and then a take-back program to turn that used product back into something useful.