With the civilization of human, tools have been utilized, technologies have been updated, as a result, production process became more technical and industrial, rather than biological and vernacular. However, this transformation not only changed the process of production, it is also transformative to our actions to deal with wastes. In the old days, we first use raw material from nature, and at last dump wastes to discomposing pile, return them to the Earth as nutrients to support the growth of plants. However, nowadays, it is impossible to return what we have grabbed from the nature back to her, since wastes contain lots of tectonic or undegradable elements. In this unclosed loop, we pushed ourselves to “a world of limits, where production and consumption are restrained, and the Earth will literally become a grave.” The recyclable loop, in my eyes is one of the most important causes around the issue of waste.
The open recyclable procedure exists in the two metabolism—the biological and technical metabolism, which both contribute to the issue of waste. The former one is that we fail to “compose products of materials that can be lossed on the ground or compost heap to safely biodegrade after use”. In addition to failure of biological metabolism, ignorance of recycling in current industrial design and manufacturing “refrain from embracing any vision of a product’s further life, such reuse will often be unsafe, even lethal”. It is ourselves that has turned the Earth from “cradle-to-cradle” to “cradle-to-grave”, always forwarding to greedy exploitation of nature, however with leaving wastes behind.
- McDonough, William, and Michael Braungart. 2009. Cradle to cradle: remaking the way we make things. London: Vintage.