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Sustainability

Cradle to Cradle Design – A Paradigm Shift

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things was written by German chemist Michael Braungart and architect William McDonough calling for the transformation of human industry through ecologically intelligent design.

Cradle to Cradle Design is a system of thinking based on the belief that human design can approach the effectiveness and elegance of natural systems by learning from nature and incorporating its patterns.

Instead of designing cradle to grave products, dumped in landfills at the end of their life, this concept transforms industry by creating products for cradle to cradle cycles, whose materials are perpetually circulated in closed loops. Maintaining materials in closed loops maximizes material value without damaging ecosystems.

The application of cradle to cradle principles to industry creates cyclical material flows (cradle to cradle rather than cradle to grave) that, like the earth’s nutrient cycles, eliminate the concept of waste.

Packaging Design Considerations

The ideal cradle to cradle packaging product and life cycle are designed so that all of its materials safely cycle within either a biological or technical metabolism and are reused or recovered at their highest possible value.

All products are made from either biological nutrients that replenish the earth after use (e.g. paperboard), or technical nutrients (e.g. plastic) that are perpetually recycled.

For more information on Cradle to Cradle Design, visit the MBDC website.