Upcycling, Downcycling or Recycling. The up in Upcycle means to improve, taking an item and reusing it to make something better or more useful. The down in Downcycling means that the materials used in the original can not be created to the same grade, so the new product is less than the first. The re in recycle means too reuse.

The terms have not been around that long. You only have to go back to the 1990s and 2000s to find the original coining of Upcycling.

Many of the problem we currently have in the world is the misunderstand of recycling. The idea that an item can be recycled back into a similarly useful item, rather than having to be turned into a park bench. The best way to recycle plastics is not to buy them in the first place.