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Time is running out. We’re working relentlessly around the clock to curb plastic pollution. Enter your name to the growing list of groups who have committed to work together based on our shared Vision and Principles. 

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Join the global movement working to stop plastic pollution for good! Add your name to the growing list of groups who have committed to work together based on our shared  Vision and Principles. Complete the form to join us!

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Calendar of Events

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Campaigns & Policy Work In Action

Take a look at #breakfreefromplastic in action around the globe!

Asia Pacific Region

Korea
Korea Zero Waste Movement Network has been leading many nationwide campaigns against single-use plastic items such as disposable cups, straws, lids, plastic bags, umbrella covers, and excessive plastic packaging of food products. The network has signed voluntary agreements with municipalities, companies, and stores including coffee shops, fast food chains and large- and small-scale grocery stores to encourage all actors to #breakfreefromplastic and foster reusable-friendly cultures and systems throughout the country. As of August, 2018, the Korean government has introduced stricter regulations on single-use plastic items, which include a ban on plastic cups and umbrella covers at governmental offices, a ban on plastic bags at grocery stores, and new fines on the use of plastic cups at coffee shops and fast food restaurants. 
Bangladesh
#breakfreefromplastic member organization Environment and Social Development Organization (ESDO) was the pioneer organization against the use of polythene bags. In 1992, ESDO launched a nationwide anti-polythene campaign. After ten years, the Ministry of Environment and Forest of Bangladesh finally banned polythene bags!
Philippines
There is a threat on the Philippines’ nationwide ban against incinerators or burning of wastes as some Filipino legislators moves to repeal key provisions of the country’s Clean Air Act. #breakreefrommovement member orgs in the Philippines led by Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) Asia Pacific, Ecowaste Coalition Philippines, Mother Earth Foundation Philippines and Healthcare Without Harm Asia launched an alliance together with other groups to show a united front against incinerators and waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities. 

Follow Along!

Indonesia
Indonesia Diet Kantong Plastik first campaigned for the #payforplastic campaign in 2013 to encourage retailers not to provide free plastic bags. In 2015, the petition then developed gained support fromt he President and the Head of Regions to create a plastic bag diet rule in retail shops. This petition to date has reached 70,000 more support, both online and offline. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry eventually imposed a paid plastic bag policy.

Interested on this? Take action!

Hongkong

Greeners Action of Hong Kong led the campaign on “Umbrella Bags Reduction Certification Program”. It is an initiative that encourages shopping malls to reduce the use of one off umbrella plastic bags during rainy season. So far, shopping malls have implemented measures like installing umbrella dryers, setting up umbrella racks and umbrella plastic bag recycle and reusable bin!

United States & Latin America Region

Recycling is Not Enough | GAIA

Until recently, countries in the Global North dealt with their plastic waste problem by shipping significant portions of it to China. But in January of this year China began a new ban on plastic scrap import, shaking local recycling systems worldwide. For far too long China has had to deal with other country’s plastic pollution, and its recent ban has sent the world a message: enough is enough. What’s the solution? We simply need to #breakfreefromplastic. The Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives(GAIA) along our partners in Asia- Pacific and Europe came together in this uncertain time to release the short report, Recycling is Not Enough. We cannot continue with “business as usual,” where companies continue to make staggering amounts of plastic and wealthy nations export their pollution to other countries. Instead, GAIA members have a bold vision for the future where production is greatly reduced, and corporations are held accountable for the plastic pollution they create.

Check it out

 

Failing Incinerators Project | GAIA

The Failing Incinerators Project is aimed at supporting grassroots communities organizing to shutdown polluting, aging incinerators and develop viable alternatives that benefit public health and the environment. Across the United states, all but one of the 77 waste incinerators are reaching the end of their lifespans, and have plagued communities for decades with harmful air emissions, accidents, other health and safety-related concerns. Through targeted financial, research, communications, technical and coordinative support GAIA is aiding local community groups, in cities such as Baltimore, Detroit, and Long Beach, in fighting their polluting incinerator infrastructure, and strengthening a national case to end incineration and invest in zero waste systems. The project is exposing the dangers of pollution from waste burning and highlighting zero waste as an alternative at a regional and national level. Trash-burning is a thing of the past– the future is #breakfreefromplastic!

Coming Soon …

Trash-Free Dining | UPSTREAM

 

 

It is time to break our addiction to disposables. The key to success in bringing reusables back to dining is to make it convenient for consumers. That is why UPSTREAM is working to design a community-wide reusable cup and container program. UPSTREAM is working to demonstrate these programs in conjuction with needed policy changes in communites around the San Francisco Bay.

Trash-Free Dining

 

The Disposable-Free Dining Ordinance | Ecology Center

The Ecology Center convened a group of waste experts to craft model legislation – the Disposable-Free Dining Ordinance – that the Berkeley City Council is now considering. We are also piloting a reuse take-out program in the Telegraph Business District in early 2019, and piloting a GPS tracker project that is tracking the movement of Bay Area plastics baled for recycling. 

Greenpeace Demands Corporate Accountability, Celebrates People Power

Greenpeace is demanding that corporations and retailers take responsibility for the plastic pollution crisis they helped create and phase out destructive single-use plastics and packaging. Almost 2 million people worldwide have signed Greenpeace petitions to retailers and CEOs of seven of the largest producers of single-use plastics (Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, McDonald’s) telling them to reduce their single-use plastic production.

In addition, Greenpeace supporters are taking action to create a “Million Acts of Blue” — actions to push retailers, corporations and businesses to reduce single-use plastic. The Million Acts of Blue toolkit has been translated into five languages so far and includes the Break Free From Plastic brand audit as one of seven actions people can take to send a message to the industry that it’s time to change—we can no longer allow products that are used for a few seconds to pollute our planet for a lifetime.

Greenpeace is also asking supporters to call out companies on social media by tagging the brands responsible for plastic pollution by posting photos of (1) branded plastic waste found in nature (tag the brand and using the hashtag #IsThisYours) and (2) excess plastic packaging at retailers (tag the brand and use the hashtags #PointlessPlastic, #RidiculousPackaging, and/or #BreakFreeFromPlastic).

Suck the Straws Out | Inland Ocean Coalition

The purpose of the campaign is to provide opportunities for communities to learn about the impacts that plastic straws are having on the environment and to take action to reduce and ultimately eliminate their use. The difference between this straw campaign and others is that it is tailored to each participating city, county, or state. Each location receives customized campaign materials, and the original Boulder Committee provides leadership for all other committees and campaign activities regionally and nationally. Committees approach local establishments and encourage them to sign the Suck the Straws Out Pledge.

Story of Plastics | Story of Stuff Project

 

 

In 2019 The Story of Stuff Project will release its first feature-length documentary, “The Story of Plastic.” The film will tell the story of the industry plot to trash the planet for profit, and the global movement rising up to stop it. We’re busting Big Plastic’s myths and drawing back the curtain on the true cost of plastic pollution at every stage, from production to disposal. Featuring interviews with frontline heroes from Texas to Tagaytay, we’re setting out to reveal a system that is poisoning communities around the globe – and the vibrant movement working to build a world free from plastic pollution.

Story of Microfibers | Story of Stuff Project
synthetic fiberMost of us wear synthetic fabrics like polyester every day. Our dress shirts, yoga pants, fleeces, and even underwear are all increasingly made of synthetic materials — plastic, in fact. But these synthetic fabrics, from which 60% of all clothing on earth is made, have a big hidden problem: when they’re washed, they release tiny plastic bits — called microfibers — that flow down our drains, through water treatment plants, and out into our rivers, lakes and oceans by the billions. In 2017, The Story of Stuff Project called attention to this hidden form of plastic pollution with the release of “The Story of Microfibers.” Now, we’re continuing the push to raise awareness and hold clothing manufacturers accountable for the waste their products create.

Watch it Here!

Save Wildlife from Plastic | Center for Biological Diversity
center for biological diversityHelp us stop plastic pollution at its source by putting the brakes on runaway plastic production and by pushing manufacturers to take responsibility for the environmental degradation that they are causing. We’re holding plastic polluters accountable under our water pollution laws, protecting wildlife from plastic pollution, and mobilizing resistance to the fossil fuel industry’s plans to expand plastic production. Take Action.

Texas Campaign for the Environment
TCE uses grassroots advocacy to stop plastic pollution along the entire lifecycle of plastic, from extraction to consumer use to disposal. In 2005 we were the first environmental group in Texas to demand full diversion of reusable material from landfills and successfully advocate for a Zero Waste plan in Austin. Since then we’ve made sure local governments continue to adopt Zero Waste policies and programs in four major cities and several local municipalities, including curbside recycling pickup at homes, apartments, businesses and public spaces, as well as local ordinances to restrict the use of single-use plastic bags. In June 2018, these bag ordinances were stuck down statewide by a Texas Supreme Court decision, which we are now working to reverse through legislative action.

We’ve also worked to limit the extraction of fossil fuels by helping the small North Texas town of Denton pass an ordinance to ban fracking (which has since been revoked) and our newest efforts to curb pollution from an ethane cracking facility proposed on Texas’s Gulf Coast. Visit Texas Campaign for the Environment to learn more!

Save Texas Bag Ordinances | Texas Campaign for the Environment
A dozen Texas cities passed local ordinances on single-use bag pollution. Laredo’s ordinance was challenged in state courts by the Laredo Merchant’s Association. The case has gone all the way up to the Texas Supreme Court. It’s the first state supreme court in the U.S. to take up the legality of these ordinances. After the oral arguments on January 11, the Court can rule at all time

Surfrider Foundation's Ocean Friendly Restaurants Program

Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants program works with the restaurant community to recognize and promote ocean-friendly practices for the protection of our ocean, coasts and planet. One restaurant, one customer at a time, increases awareness, drives change in behavior and ultimately creates scalable impact to reduce our plastic and water footprint. Support Surfrider Foundation!

Surfrider Foundation’s Rise Above Plastics program

Surfrider’s Rise Above Plastics program is designed to eliminate the impacts of plastics in the marine environment by raising awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution and by advocating for a reduction of single-use plastics and the recycling of all plastics. Support Surfrider Foundation!

Rethink Disposable: Stop Waste Before it Starts

In 2011, Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund launched ReThink Disposable an award winning and results driven program that works in partnership with municipal stormwater and zero waste agencies to engage food businesses, institutions (academic and corporate campuses), and consumers to minimize disposable take-out food and beverage packaging at the source. The program creates win-win opportunities for businesses and the environment by identifying money saving practices to reduce single-use food and beverage packaging. Auditors work with participating businesses and institutions to implement ReThink Disposable’s Best Management Practices (BMPs) for source reduction. All disposable packaging targeted for reduction is tracked and measured through an audit process and program impacts, such as the number and percent of disposable packaging eliminated, waste prevention, greenhouse gas reductions, payback period and cost savings are calculated. To date, the program has engaged 125 small, locally owned and operated food businesses around the San Francisco Bay Area and five institutions in reducing disposable products usage by over 15 million items and preventing over 125 tons of waste each year.  ReThink Disposable won the 2015 Governor’s Economic and Environmental Leadership Award (CA) and the 2016 California Resource Recovery Association’s Outstanding Waste Prevention Award.  Several businesses participants have received awards and recognition from local government agencies, mayors, and city councils. ReThink Disposable will see a burst of program growth in the San Francisco Bay Area in the coming 2018-2020 years with funding in place for 200 new certified food businesses and institutions. We are expanding into Southern California and Clean Water Action offices in New Jersey and Rhode Island. To learn more about the program, please visit www.rethinkdisposable.org. Support Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund!

5 Gyres: Nix the 6

 

Polysytrene products are everywhere, from coffee cup lids to straws, cutlery and cups (even SOLO cups). Expanded polystyrene foam—commonly known as “Styrofoam”—is basically polystyrene that’s expanded with air. You can identify polystyrene and expanded polystyrene foam by the number “6” on the bottom of a product. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans use 25 billion expanded polystyrene coffee cups each year—and many of their lids are polystyrene, too. When you Nix the 6, you pledge to refuse these single-use plastics.

Pledge to refuse single use plastics and get rid of #sneakystyrene!

A Strawless Ocean l Lonely Whale
Lonely Whale’s For A Strawless Ocean serves as a roadmap for any individual, community or organization to spearhead a plastic straw-free movement. In the US alone an estimated 500 million single-use plastic straws are used daily and are one of the top 10 plastic items found in global beach cleanups year after year. In addition to guidelines and best practices, For A Strawless Ocean provides an open-source brand identity, campaigning guidebook, an Artificial Intelligence-powered chatbot, free customizable marketing and venue materials, staff training materials, and resources for discounts on Lonely Whale-vetted alternative straws. #BreakFreeFromPlastic and join the movement For A #StrawlessOcean!

Take Action for a Strawless Ocean

Europe & Africa

Rethink Plastic takes on European plastics policy
Europe is the world’s second largest plastic producer and the vast use of plastic is growing yearly – but now we have a chance to clean up our act. The EU Commission recently passed the EU plastics strategy. This could mean real change for better or a bitter disappointment. The EU wants to fight the waste problem, but behind the scenes, the plastic lobby is fighting for its interests – for example, against bans on single-use plastic. It’s up to us to tip the balance.  It’s high time to rid the seas and rivers from being flooded with millions of tons of plastic waste. We ask you to stop the trashing of our oceans and to commit to the vision of a world free of plastic pollution. This means setting ambitious goals to reduce the production and use of plastic. You will also need to ensure that plastic is made toxics-free and that recycling greatly increases. Join the Call for reduction, redesign, and better management of plastics.

ADD YOUR NAME TO THE CAMPAIGN

Plastic Bag Free Day
The International Plastic Bag Free Day is a unique opportunity to spread the word that a plastic bag free world is possible and that sound environmental alternatives to single use plastic bags are available.

TAKE ON THE CHALLENGE

Break Free From Plastic member organizations are committed to the inclusion of people with disabilities

Our member organizations are working on initiatives ranging from: corporate accountability in identifying and innovating on reusable alternatives, to policy development that stops plastic pollution at the source, and also engagement with businesses to help them reduce their plastic footprint. These initiatives include a broad and diverse group of stakeholders, some of which work to champion the voices and particular needs of people with disabilities.

Take a look at these great resources from our member organizations:

What Plastic Activists Need to Know About Disability Justice- Greenpeace:

Guest blogger Rev. Theresa I. Soto breaks down how our movements can approach the single-use plastic crisis while lifting up multi-issue lives.


Check it out

Action on Plastics Shouldn’t Make Life Suck for Disabled People - Greenpeace:

Guest blogger Jamie Szymkowiak, co-Founder of disability rights organization One in Five. discusses why disabled people shouldn’t be used as a scapegoat by large corporations or governments who are unwilling to push suppliers and manufacturers to produce a better solution.

Check it out

For A Strawless Ocean Disability Statement- Lonely Whale:

Lonely Whale’s movement For A #StrawlessOcean is working with members of the disability community to advocate for the needs of disabled individuals who require a straw to drink. We are committed to working with the disability community to ensure that voluntary adoption of our campaign is inclusive, to identify plastic straw alternatives that work for everyone, to make exceptions for plastic straw use in establishments while there currently are not alternatives, and to ensure alternatives readily available at any establishment. We believe that with thoughtful dialogue between environmental and disability communities we can address the growing plastic pollution crisis without compromising the needs of the disability community. We welcome the opportunity to speak further with those who represent the disability community at large, especially in cities and towns currently enacting or considering enacting straw bans,  to ensure any opportunity we have to advocate for more inclusive policy language proposed by cities, counties and states and voluntary change in response to our campaigns protect the accessibility rights for those within the disability community.

Check it out

Surfrider Foundation Disability Statement:

The Surfrider Foundation and its chapters advocate for policies that reduce plastic pollution at the source.  One of these efforts is the mitigation of plastic straw use through a “straw upon request” policy or plastic straw ban that maintains accommodations and exemptions allowing anyone who needs a straw to obtain one. Surfrider wholeheartedly agrees that anyone who needs a straw should have access to one. People with disabilities should be incorporated in the stakeholder outreach process for developing laws designed to address plastic straw pollution, and Surfrider will encourage municipalities and states to reach out to potentially affected communities, like people with disabilities, when writing local ordinances or state law.

Toolkits

Support and be part of #breakfreefromplastic in action around the globe!

Brand Audit

Strawless Ocean

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