The impact that cradle-to-cradle thinking is likely to include equipment with components that can be taken back and reused, while all other components will be recycled and reused in other equipment of equal or greater values. Renewable, nonfood agricultural products can be recycled into products of equal or greater value or composted at the end of their lives.
This new way of thinking not only considers the impact of products resulting during their use or disposal stages, but introduces the fact that many products have significant impacts throughout their entire lives. Beginning with the extraction of the raw materials that actually comprise the product, to its manufacturing, use of energy and water, its waste and emissions, transportation impacts, the actual use of the product and finally, ending with the ultimate disposal of the product.
There are few concerns in Michael Braungart and William McDonough envisioned concept of ‘Cradle to Cradle’. While the idea seems to be like an idealistic implementation, there are issues before this adaption can be considered. The C2C concept ignores the use phase of a product. The entire life cycle of a product or service has to be evaluated, not only the material itself. For many goods e.g. in transport, the use phase has the most influence on the environmental footprint. Braungart fully ignores the use phase
The core concept of the economy is the process of converting resources and energy into products for consumption. Economy might conflict with environmental interest. As a design strategy, ecological effectiveness has an interdependence of natural systems and expected economics. But economic interest that is achieved at the expanse of environmental concerns might damage the options less economically viable.
The way we consume energy to process resources, we also consume energy to process waste recycling. Today, it is economical more viable to dispose waste, consuming fewer resources and energy than to reuse and recycle. Then there is the question of time. The moment we let natural systems take over our recycling process, it demands time to sync back in the cycle. The fact that we aren’t in control of its development or the time is unacceptable aspect to the manufacturing economy. To seek this ecological industrial revolution currently is a questionable task. The way that that the world operates, economy and ecology are two opposites. Until we find a way out for both entities to collaborate, we shall not see real change.