One of the philosophies of circular economy is the concept of "Cradle-to-cradle" which is a revolutionary approach to the design of products and supply systems.
This type of approach considers materials as nutrients circulating in a healthy and safe metabolism. The term "cradle-to-cradle" is a game of the famous corporate phrase "cradle-to-grave". It represents a stable model and with consideration for the life of future generations, from birth, or "cradle", of one generation to the next, despite the usual linear life from birth to death as symbolized by the "Cradle-in-the-grave" concept.
Cradle-to-Cradle suggests that industries should enrich and protect nature's ecosystems and biological metabolism by maintaining a productive and safe metabolism for effective circulation and use of nutrients in both the technical and biological stages. With the "cradle-to-cradle" model, all materials used in industrial or commercial processes - fall into the category of: technical and biological nutrients.
- Technical nutrients are strictly limited to non-toxic and non-harmful synthetic materials which have no negative impact on natural environments and can be reused in continuous cycles as the same product without losing integrity or quality. This way these materials can be reused over and over again and are not considered waste.
- Biological nutrients are organic materials that when used once can be returned to natural environments and decomposed into soil, providing food to small living forms without interfering with the process of natural environments. This depends mostly on the ecology of that region where things are produced, e.g. an organic material of one state or land mass may be harmful to the ecology or land mass of another state.
Both of these types of materials follow their cycle in regenerative economics. This model implies that this approach puts in the economic, social and industrial framework the search for development systems that are efficient and essentially pollution-free and waste-free.
Cradle-to-cradle design does not limit itself to the industrial and productive, and many civilizations can apply this kind of approach to aspects that contain ecosystems, the economy, and the urban environment.
An example of a "cradle-to-cradle" are biodegradable cups, bottles or wrappers made entirely of biological materials. When this item is no longer used, it can be returned to the natural environment; hence the amount of waste dumped both in landfills and those that end up in recycling, is drastically reduced.
So the circular economy focuses on recycling, recycling and reuse of resources and also aims to reduce the amount of energy and resources used. This economy is a development model that pays full attention to innovation, production quality, clean production process in every aspect, use of science and technology, cooperation with nature and saving resources.