A New York Times story about upcycling cites the Cradle to Cradle framework as developed by our founder, William McDonough, with Michael Braungart.
Here’s an excerpt:
This is part of a broader effort to reduce waste by planning for a product’s potential recycling or reuse at the end of its life before it is even made, a process known as “designing out waste.” A small but growing number of companies have begun thinking this way, and they say it is essential for wealthy consumption-based societies that must begin to conserve resources, cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce landfill. Wasting less also improves profit, they say.
The American designer William McDonough and a German chemist, Michael Braungart, helped to shape the philosophy with their 2002 book “Cradle to Cradle,” which envisioned an endless loop of resource reuse, in which all products are designed to be eventually dismantled, and their component parts either reused or composted.
The challenge is to get manufacturers and consumers to shift from an attitude of “it’s going to landfill, I don’t have to think of it,” to “I really want to get those materials back because they’re valuable,” said Bridgett Luther, president of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute in San Francisco, which Mr. McDonough and Dr. Braungart established to train consultants to help companies put their idea into practice.