What Is The Solution

“There is no single solution to the plastic waste problem.”

Empty Plastic Bottles
Supermarket Depackaging

Reduction

The vast majority of plastics consumed by society are not recovered or recycled

Take this challenge:

Walk into any grocery or department store and try to fill a grocery cart with individual products that are not made from, packaged, or labeled with plastic.  Though some products, like plastic bottles, have a recovery plan, most do not. Even fewer are truly recycled.  Plastic lost at sea is an environmental and potential human health hazard. We must demand zero tolerance for plastic pollution. Reducing our consumption and production of plastic waste, and choosing cost-effective alternatives will go a long way towards protecting our seas- and ultimately ourselves.

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Action

Powerful ideas left idle change nothing- we need everyone to get on board

Be the change you seek

Inspire your company, community, school, and home to consider what they make and consume. Know the lifecycle of what you buy- what happens to your products when you’re through with them? Shift some habits as you go along- commit to put your bags in the car, to not use plastic bottles, etc. Support legislative efforts to manage waste in your local community- your voice must be heard!  Bring your own bag, bottle, cup, To-Go Ware, and inspire others to do the same. Be a leader in your industry and community for sustainable living. Knowing the impact of plastic pollution on the world, inaction is unacceptable.

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U.S. Supreme Court

Legislation

We must all share responsibility

Take it to a higher level

Knowing that plastic pollution is an environmental and potential human health hazard, and that current recovery and recycling efforts are inadequate, we must manage production and recovery of plastic responsibly through legislation. Bans and fees on disposable plastics are working to protect people and the environment worldwide. When businesses take responsibility (EPR) to recover products from consumers after use, they make more durable products, create less waste, and reduce the financial burden on municipalities and taxpayers paying to reduce waste.

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Innovation

The mother of invention is…

Necessity and we are in need of a huge change! Our capacity to come up with smarter approaches, ideas, and materials is limitless. Businesses must continue reinventing the way we make and consume our products, helping to forge a more sustainable world, and supporting communities that demand better alternatives.

Responsible legislation creates opportunity for these alternatives.  Steel water bottles and cloth grocery bags, biodegradable plastics and green chemistry, closed loop product lifecycles – these innovations and reinventions move us towards a more sustainable society, where the concept of “waste” has no place.

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Beautiful Ocean
Beautiful Ocean Sky

Recovery

The further plastic pollution moves away from our hands, the more difficult to recover

Recovery begins on land

Cleaning up plastic pollution from the world’s oceans is impractical. Our communities manage waste with landfills and recovery centers, screens on stormdrains and nets across rivers, but these post-consumer solutions are expensive to taxpayers.  What works are economic incentives: return deposits on bottles, return deposits on products (EPR), and even a “Plastic Drive” for local schools to collect all types of plastic for $/pound.  Efficient recovery of waste is essential- there is no “away” in throw-away.

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