A documentary on the Cradle to Cradle (C2C) design concept of Michael Braungart and William McDonough. It present ideas about how to ‘close’ cycles in our production/consumption systems. They have received the following critiques:
- C2C states that “biological nutrients” will easily reenter the water or soil without releasing synthetic materials and toxins. Other argue that increased emissions or ‘wastes’ consisting of ‘biological nutrients’ are in fact not ecologically irrelevant. They participate in biogeochemical cycles, but can still have negative effects if inputs increase in those cycles. E.g. nutrient enrichment causes eutrophication (stimulates the growth of one species (algae) at the expense of the overall biodiversity). See: Reijnders, L. (2008). Are emissions or wastes consisting of biological nutrients good or healthy? Journal of Cleaner Production, 16(10), 1138-1141
- C2C states that “technical nutrients” will permanently move as pure and valuable materials within closed-loop industrial cycles. Others argue that the laws of thermodynamics aren’t fully addressed in C2C: “waste as food” is not a loop, more of a very slow downward spiral. Also, a growth-based C2C economy still relies on growing energy inputs. See: Reay, S. D., McCool, J. P., & Withell, A. (2011). Exploring the feasibility of cradle to cradle (product) design: Perspective from new zealand scientists. Journal of Sustainable Development, 4(1), p36. For posts explaining thermodynamics, see: Entropy (Caltech) and Second law of thermodynamics (Through the wormhole).