from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Present participle of downcycle.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Transforming bottles into fabric, while it sounds like alchemy, is actually called downcycling: turning something difficult to make (in this case, impermeable hard plastic) into something easy to make Top Stories

  • Another complaint about recycling is that it often isn’t even recycling but is actually something called downcycling.


  • Plastic can be processed back into oil to make new plastic without the "downcycling" inherent in current technology.

    The Full Feed from

  • There's no research on this yet; some chemists have concerns about turning high-grade paper into toilet tissue downcycling.

    Fear of toxic green boxes

  • True recycling achieves a circular closed loop production process (a bottle into a bottle into a bottle), while downcycling just makes Stuff into a lower-grade material and a secondary product (a plastic jug into carpet backing).


  • At best, downcycling reduces the need for virgin ingredients for the secondary item, but it never reduces the resources needed to make a replacement for the original item.


  • After each item wears out (which they will eventually!), it will then be passed on to either an ecologically expensive process (usually toxic and requiring consumption of further materials) to continue downcycling the item for reuse, or it will be disposed of.

    Six Creative Upcycling Projects

  • She said that although Nike recycles 23M pairs of shoes a year in its Reuse-a-Shoe program, she wants to turn an old shoe into a new shoe, not just a running track – a concept known as “downcycling” -- as is done now.

    Jennifer Boulden: How Animated Stick Figures Can Start a Fire (Or At Least Evolve the Eco Discussions)

  • If we do not find a way to curb our resource appetites and simultaneously to discover new, less resource-intensive forms of energy production, less polluting forms of food production, ways of producing less waste or truly recycling it (instead of just downcycling it, as we do now), we will sink into our own muck.

    Geonomics: what ever happened to the movement Henry George started?

  • Even where there are products made from recycling, often times it's downcycling, when in fact those products have required so much energy to create that they have defeated the entire purpose.

    Thomas Stern: A Kick in the Career: My Interview with Sustainable Dave


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • The practice of recycling a material in such a way that much of its inherent value is lost (e.g. recycling plastic into park benches).

    (Obtained from

    November 25, 2007