The upcycling field is professionalizing. I previously wrote about art galleries and fashion stores in Berlin. Another interesting concept is brought forward by TerraCycle. One of their projects is turning cigarette butts into plastic products like park benches. Smokers, clubs or restaurants can collect and mail their cigarette waste to a collection point. There it is sorted and components like plastics are extracted. The project is funded by tobacco companies (it is assumingly useful for their sustainability report).
TerraCycle is mainly recycling waste that is conventionally not easy to recycle. People can send them their Colgate toothbrush, Nespresso capsules, drink pouches, diapers or electronic waste (ipods, laptops, phones). Each is collected under a different project (“Brigade”) and funded by different companies. The reward for each item send in is either a donation to a non-profit organisation or – for larger scale shipments above e.g. 100 pieces – TerraCycle points can be collected and redeemed for charitable gifts or product bundles.
Shipments are usually free and there are collection points in 9 countries such as US, Australia, Canada and Germany. More info can be found on their website: www.terracycle.eu/#/world