From waste to resource: this is the mission of ESO RECYCLING.

Upcycling is a good practice that is good for the planet, because it rewrites the destiny of waste and transforms it into a new resource. It is a real process of valorising a product or waste material that has exhausted its original function and is positioned on the market with a higher added value.

The plant designed by ESO RECYCLING is part of an upcycling process. It uses waste from the world of sport, such as sports shoes, inner tubes and bicycle tyres and, last but not least, tennis balls. These materials are recycled to produce non-trauma floor tiles for use in children’s playgrounds and athletics tracks.

ESO RECYCLING’s vision is to give a new life to what is considered waste, creating useful and sustainable products.


“I call it down-cycling. What we need is up-cycling, whereby old products are given a higher, not a lower, value” Reiner Pilz.

There is no word in the Italian language that has the same meaning: the term is translated as creative recycling, reuse or re-use. But what is upcycling really about?

It is a concept that originated in 1963 when Heineken produced the ‘Wobo’: beer bottles that, once used, can serve as building blocks.

The term “upcycling” first appeared in 1994 in an interview with engineer Reiner Pilz by Thornton Kay in the architecture magazine Salvo and was then taken up in 2003 in William McDonough (architect) and Michael Braungart (chemist)’s book, Cradle to Cradle, which became a wide-ranging concept embracing design in all its facets.

The Cambridge Dictionary has rated it as the word of the year 2019.