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On environmental benefits of downcycling[edit]

The article cites Geyer et al. 2015 in the Journal of Industrial Ecology to defend the possibility that downcycling may sometimes have more environmental benefits than recycling. Actually, this is not what Geyer et al. demonstrate: their demonstration is that open-loop recycling can be as beneficial as closed-loop recycling as long as demand for primary material far exceeds the supply of secondary material. Geyer et al. in fact go out of their way to deplore downcycling ("Poor product design and EOL management can lead to recycled materials of poor quality, which, in turn, limits the applications these materials can be used in" and "high scrap quality is vital" and "Doing away with the notion of closed-loop recycling, on the other hand, does not mean opening the door to rampant downcycling."). Even though I see a theoretical possibility for downcycling to be supperior to recycling (if the emissions from the recycling process are much higher than the consequences of loss of material quality), I feel this citation is not appropriate and the paragraph in the article too broad and optimistic. Guillaume Majeau-Bettez (talk) 00:53, 13 December 2016 (UTC)

Hey Guillaume, thanks for pointing out this flaw! Apparently I was too quick and put downcycling and open loop recycling into one basket. Because the discussion offered by Geyer et al. (2015) is quite technical, I rephrased the paragraph into a more general statement and cite two core statements from the paper: "A detailed discussion on the relation between downcycling, open loop recycling and their environmental impact is provided by Geyer et al. (2015).[8] They write that "Poor product design and EOL management can lead to recycled materials of poor quality, which, in turn, limits the applications these materials can be used in." They also argue that "closed-loop recycling neither intrinsically displaces more primary material owing to multiple loops (quantity argument) nor per se generates higher environmental benefits on a unit basis (quality argument)." The reason for their argument lies in the necessity to include the product system of the target application, in which the recycled material is used or not, into the assessment of overall primary material demand and environmental impact."
Hope that solves the issue for now! --MFAguy (talk) 18:45, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
Very nice, dear friend! Thanks for your leadership on getting this (indeed rather technical) discussion in the open. Your quotes sum up the issue very well. Guillaume Majeau-Bettez (talk) 22:59, 17 January 2017 (UTC)

Conflicting statements[edit]

Which is it? Was the term coined by William McDonough and Michael Braungart, or were they first used by Reiner Pilz of Pilz GmbH and Thornton Kay?

The latter has an earlier date, so it may be the more correct version. TWCarlson 07:52, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Bad Analogy[edit]

Plastics are not limited to downcycling. Hydrocarbon based plastics as opposed to halogenated plastics like PVC or PTFE have can be part of a Cradle to Cradle cycle as they can be thermally decomposed in an oxygen free environment in one step. This process enables capture an reuse of the hydrocarbon monomers or atoms. (talk) 12 March 2008 —Preceding comment was added at 03:59, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

That makes sense. I replaced this example with the well documented example of secondary steel recovered from scrap cars. Guillaume Majeau-Bettez (talk) 04:58, 11 November 2016 (UTC)

Definition makes no sense[edit]

Waste or otherwise worthless materials have no quality or functionality. The very concept of "downcycling" appears to be non-existent. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:58, 1 May 2013 (UTC)