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Introduction: State-of-the-Art Upcycling Research and Practice

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Ben BridgensORCiD


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© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.Resource consumption has reached an unsustainable level, leading to devastating environmental impacts. For a more sustainable future, not only environmentally but economically and socially, material cycles need to be slowed down and, if possible, closed. Upcycling presents a promising alternative to mass production and consumption based on the use of virgin materials, in order to slow material cycles. There has been a growing academic and industrial interest in upcycling, particularly related to the emerging circular economy. Research in upcycling, however, is still in its infancy. Development of upcycling theories and practices is required if there is to be a transition in upcycling from niche to mainstream. As part of our efforts to develop upcycling theories and practices, we organised the first International Upcycling Symposium and called for contributions by international academics, practitioners and other relevant actors working on upcycling. In response, we received a wide range of papers across disciplines, sectors, industries, countries and regions. This chapter provides a brief summary of each contribution showing the state of the art in upcycling research and practice at the global scale which provides fundamental understanding of upcycling with varied definitions and forms and informs readers of valuable ideas, theories, projects, experiences and insights into upcycling by global experts.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sung K, Singh J, Bridgens B, Cooper T

Editor(s): Sung K

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: International Upcycling Symposium 2020

Year of Conference: 2020

Pages: 1-6

Print publication date: 15/06/2021

Online publication date: 15/06/2021

Acceptance date: 02/04/2020

Publisher: Springer Nature


DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-72640-9_1

Notes: Proceedings published as State-of-the-Art Upcycling Research and Practice

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

Series Title: Lecture Notes in Production Engineering

ISBN: 9783030726393