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Published: July 24th 2015

by: Caitlin Jackson

IndustrialRevolution v2

'Water Pollution with Trash Disposal of Waste at the Garbage Beach'
by Epos.de

Reset the Rules of Production

Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute seeks to eliminate waste for next generation

Can you imagine your home without needing a trash can? Pretty tough considering most products come with disposable wrapping. Even the product itself will become trash. Thankfully, the next industrial revolution is underway and it’s being led by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.


Cradle to Cradle sets a standard for manufacturers of consumer goods to follow. By aligning with these standards, manufacturers will eliminate waste as a byproduct; both on the production and consumer ends. Most importantly, the products made won’t pose any health risks to people.

Certification comes in 4 different levels; completion of all 4 levels means a product has met all of the 5 criteria: Material Health, Material Reutilization, Renewable Energy and Carbon Management, Water Stewardship, and Social Fairness.

The shift into this next industrial revolution means that many established companies must reconfigure the way they design. But this is much more exciting for those just beginning. Because business is no longer just about the product and the market. It’s not a separate entity, it’s a link in the chain. In designing the product, we must consider every connection.

In the corresponding book, Cradle to Cradle, authors William McDonough and Michael Braungart ask,

“What if humans designed products and systems that celebrate an abundance of human creativity, culture, and productivity? That are so intelligent and safe, our species leaves an ecological footprint to delight in, not lament.”

The idea of waste is so ingrained in our system, as though toxic chemicals and waste are an inevitable byproduct of human development. It turns out, it’s all completely unnecessary. Zero waste is completely possible if production is designed properly. Designed not just for the products sake, but for the whole system.

Even as consumers, we can use cradle to cradle. Look for products that have been certified. For example, the physical copy of Cradle to Cradle is made out of a synthetic “paper” from plastic resins and inorganic fillers. It can be broken down and circulated infinitely in industrial cycles without any degradation as ordinary recycling would cause.

You can find their book on Amazon and read more about it on their Website .

'Introduction to Cradle to Cradle'

Rethink the way we make things.

  • Buy from a market that thinks beyond your purchase.
  • The next industrial revolution is a future generation without waste.