UK’s First Industrial-Scale Cradle To Cradle Project Gets OK

Waste is expensive and and toxic. Too much waste leads to higher prices and lower profit margins. Some people think that’s just the way it is, but they’re wrong. Cradle to cradle ideology allows us to see waste as a resource rather than a problem to be hidden or buried underground.

A new project in London seeks to show businesses just how much they could benefit by engaging in this type of circular economy. Permission was recently granted for the United Kingdom’s first industrial scale cradle to cradle demonstration project, an effort that will turn waste from businesses housed at the London Sustainable Industries Park into a building material for green roofs.

According to GreenBiz.com, the new closed-loop project will turn waste from several companies, “including a food grade plastic recycling business, a gasification plant and an anaerobic digestion plant, into aggregate material that can be used to help drainage on green roofs or on pathways in place of gravel.”

The effort is part of a pan-European initiative called C2C BIZZ, which hopes to demonstrate how effective this type of product design and recycling can be in reducing waste as well as creating revenue. Information and results gathered during this pilot project will be used to create a toolkit that can be used by any company looking to explore cradle to cradle systems.

“As global demand for resources and the cost of transporting and disposing of unwanted materials increases, a number of approaches such as C2C and circular economy encourage a transformation in the way waste is considered and managed,” said Stella Okeahialam, program director at the Institute for Sustainability, in a statement.

In the U.S. such a transformation is already underway, thanks to a partnership between William McDonough, a founding father of Cradle to Cradle philosophy, and the US Green Building Council. The latest update in LEED certification critera, called LEED V4, will offer points for using cradle to cradle-certified products.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog