Hundreds of shipping-container

What about up-cycling!

Up-cycling is legally binding in Germany

An explanation :

The treatment of waste must safeguard humans and our environment. Taking precautions and sustainability are legally binding. The level of substitution of material or energy is the measure for success.  This is what the German Circular Economy legislation (Kreislaufwirtschaftsgesetz (KrWG) defines.

Especially treatment in the form of cascades are emphasised to be of high value. This means that the material use shall be bigger in the beginnen of the treatment cascade, alway following resource optimisation processes.

What does recycling mean?

The definition of recycling  in § 3, 25 KrWG is no more than processing.  Processing is a key for the understanding of   recycling.  And processing is defined in a further rule, the VDI-Richtlinie  2243. Processing is the preparation for the material flow of materials with the goal of changing the product shape. .

An example:

Ship containers, like those in the above picture, are used for transport of goods. The shape of the product container will we changed, when used as office-room for example. In the following picture you can see an office-container used in an old industry plant.


Office container at Design-Factory der Aalto-University, Finland

If container get recycled for a later used as containers, this is not according to this definition of up-cycling. This results in the same  product shape and same use.  Up-cycling objects are most often not only waste but waste-side-products.

The differentiation between the terms recycling and up-cycling is not easy, but legally binding. What really counts are processes to avoid waste by applying cradle-to-cradle design, reduce waste, close the loop by designing new products from waste.

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