21st Century Resource Solution
01 Every step produces waste in the old cycle of production.
02 When the product is finished, it is also waste, often toxic and harmful to the environment.
03 Eventually a plastic pen made from oil-based plastic will end up in a landfill where it will become toxic waste.
04 The reduce - reuse - recycle (3Rs) production cycle is an improvement on the old cycle of production – use and throw away – but it still produces waste, much of which can be toxic.
05 The DBA 98 Pen (dba-co.com/pen) was developed as the first cradle-to-cradle pen by a company in the United States and is 98 per cent biodegradable. The manufacturing plant where the pen is made is powered by wind energy. Rather than oil-based materials, the pen is made from bio-plastic from sustainable crop resources and has non-toxic ink. It can decompose in a compost facility within 180 days without leaving behind a toxic trace. The pen’s nib is the only part that is disposed of as waste.
06 Built using the principles of the cradle-to-cradle production life cycle, the DBA 98 Pen produces just 2 per cent waste when it is discarded at the end of its life cycle.
07 When the DBA 98 Pen has finished its life cycle, rather than just being discarded as waste, it is dismantled and becomes either food for the earth or “food” for another product and the life cycle starts again. 08 Cradle-to-cradle certification establishes a process where producers can gradually evolve their products to use the cradleto-cradle process and become better designed and free of harmful waste. It is an eco-label administered by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute (c2 ccertified.org), which assesses a product’s safety to humans and the environment and its design for future life cycles.
09 The majority of the pen – 98 per cent – can biodegrade in 180 days and does not leave any toxic waste behind when it does get thrown away.
10 The Dipshikha Electrical Skill Improvement (DESI) School in Bangladesh was built using cradle-to-cradle principles. Designed for rural areas of the country by architect Anna Heringer (anna-heringer.com), the idea was to show that it wasn’t necessary to import expensive building materials to make a solid structure. Made from earth and bamboo, the school is powered by solar energy, and heating and cooling are done passively, relying on natural air circulation through the building. Natural light is used as much as possible and the building has all the modern facilities expected in a school, including toilets and showers.