UK's first cradle-to-cradle demonstrator gets London planning permit

The UK's first cross-business cradle-to-cradle demonstrator has been granted planning permission and will be built on an industrial park in East London.

Aerial image of the London Sustainable Industries Park site, courtesy of the Greater London Authority, where the UK's first cradle-to-cradle demonstrator will be built

Aerial image of the London Sustainable Industries Park site, courtesy of the Greater London Authority, where the UK's first cradle-to-cradle demonstrator will be built

Using by-products previously treated as waste from a group of adjacent industrial businesses, the demonstrator will explore how cradle-to-cradle principles and other 'beyond sustainability approaches' could be applied in a practical, real world setting.

The demonstrator will help businesses work together to understand how synergies between their production processes can result in creating additional value from their waste or by-products that would otherwise be down cycled, sent to landfill or discharged back into the environment.

The Institute for Sustainability, who secured planning for the project, will work in partnership with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and University of East London (UEL) to construct the demonstrator in the coming months on the London Sustainable Industries Park (London SIP) in Dagenham, East London.

Existing and prospective London SIP tenants whose by-products will be used by the demonstrator include a food grade plastic recycling business, a gasification plant and an anaerobic digestion plant.

The output of the demonstrator process, in this case aggregate material, could be used for a range of purposes including helping drainage on green roofs or on pathways in place of gravel.

The Institute for Sustainability's programme director Stella Okeahialam, said: "In the UK alone, more than 434 million tonnes of waste are produced every year, driving a waste management industry worth more than £4.8bn.

"As global demand for resources and the cost of transporting and disposing of unwanted materials increases, a number of approaches such as cradle-to-cradle and circular economy encourage a transformation in the way waste is considered and managed.

"The demonstrator provides a unique opportunity to show in practice how these approaches applied to industrial resources could not only reduce waste and help preserve finite resources, but can be commercially viable in the long term," added Okeahialam.

Leigh Stringer


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