Cradle to Cradle

Cradle to Cradle (C2C) is about seeing garbage as an eternal resource and doing the right thing from the beginning. It is about making community and product development function in the same way as a healthy ecological system where all resources are used effectively, and in a cyclical way (as opposed to the current linear system that can be better described as a Cradle to Grave system).

In order for the C2C system to be sustainable, all materials in products need to be kept clean and should not be mixed. Alternatively, there needs to be a separation system in place that can be applied after the item is discarded. C2C methodology builds on the concept that “waste = food”, meaning that what is considered waste can become food in a new product cycle.

This methodology was developed by professor Michael Braungart and William McDonough in 2001 and it has been used as inspiration in products, buildings and production systems.

C2C cyclical systems

In practical terms, C2C requires products to be designed in such a way to ensure that all materials can be classified into one of two cyclical systems:

Biological cycle

Materials that naturally biodegrade and can be returned to the ecological system. Examples of such materials are natural fibres and bio plastics.

Technology cycle

Metals, oil-based plastics and chemicals are examples of valuable materials that can be recycled or reused producing the same or better quality in closed systems, provided they are not mixed.

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