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‘Collaborative’ to focus on sustainable design

United States – Leading North American recycler Waste Management and cradle-to-cradle expert William McDonough will shortly launch a joint venture whose aim is to double US recycling rates in the years ahead. The partners will look to foster and guide future product and packaging design innovation.

The new initiative, known as the Waste Management McDonough Sustainable Innovation Collaborative, will essentially serve as a consultancy and focus on directly serving producers, manufacturers, retailers and suppliers of packaged goods and products as they ‘strive to advance their sustainability objectives and results’. This will cover design for recyclability and next-generation strategies as well as ‘careful consideration’ of ecology and human health.

Calling it a ‘unique new avenue for innovation’, McDonough declares: ‘What we have previously thought of as waste streams can be transformed into positive, safe, healthy resource reuse systems that bring value to their communities in many forms.’ This vision is at the core of the cradle-to-cradle concept that he pioneered with chemist and fellow author Michael Braungart.

Eliminating waste

‘Designing up from the dumpster is one reason why I am personally very excited to launch the collaborative,’ adds McDonough. The tools of design, science and principled business practices will be used – all in collaboration with those companies along the product chain, embracing both the supply side and the demand side. ‘We will work towards eliminating the very concept of waste,’ he insists.

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