For a long period, natural resources were viewed as being inexhaustible. As such, during the first industrial revolution its technological advancements and the resultant increased demand; they were extracted and consumed in ever-increasing quantities. A system established itself which took, produced and then threw away and in terms of material flow could be described as “cradle to grave”. Despite present day knowledge of the finite nature of natural resources and the damage caused by their extraction, industry is still producing in the manner it always has done staying true to this outdated model.
Raw materials are taken and turned into products, are sold and then usually end up in waste dumps or incineration plants whereby the materials’ value are then lost forever. The Cradle to Cradle® design concept offers an alternative to the present method of production whereby materials become nutrients that move within metabolic cycles and the concept of waste – as we know it - does not exist.