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From cradle to cradle

From cradle to cradle

By María Perona

For now, and until the garbage bags disappear in space black holes, everything will work, we must adopt measures that favor the non-generation of waste. Hence the burgeoning interest in the circular economy. Faced with the classic linear economy of disposable and disposable, the circular model looks to the flows of nature for inspiration.

In a circular economy, towards which the EU aspires, the life cycle of products is extended due to better eco-design that facilitates repairs and reuse. In this way, one of the EU's priority objectives for 2020 could be achieved: “to make the EU a low-carbon, resource-efficient, environmentally friendly and competitive economy”.

It is a step beyond the "reduce, reuse, recycle" we were used to. And it discards the decrease, since the productive and consumption cycle continue their course.

In addition, MAGRAMA points to the circular economy as a source of employment and one of the strengths of the new State Waste Framework Plan (PEMAR) 2016-2022, approved last November.

This is where “Cradle to Cradle” comes in. It is a way of designing and producing "from cradle to cradle", in a system in which waste is used as raw materials, forming a perfect circle. Or a triangle. Because when designing they take into account three key concepts: Ecology, Equity and Economy.

The materialization of this idea is found in the book "Cradle to Cradle: Remaking The Way We Make Things", written by M. Braungart and W. McDonough, and to continue with the example it is published in water resistant resins that can be used as fertilizer for plants. They have also created a certification system, the "C2C Certification". The requirements that products must meet are: be manufactured with materials that are safe and healthy for the environment, design taking into account reuse, make efficient use of water and institute strategies for social responsibility.

They advocate consumerism, since they understand that there is no residue provided that all phases of the production process are taken into account (especially design), to ensure that at the end of a product's useful life it is taken as raw material. In other words, achieve ecological efficiency.

Achieving a competitive economy by generating 0 waste seems utopian, since the behavior trend is going against it. The products will be less polluting (even not polluting), but we will remain the same.

Signs of Sustainability


Video: William McDonough explains steels place in his Cradle to Cradle concept (September 2021).