We are Drowning in Single-Use Packaging

For ages, Big Corporations have blamed the influx of trash tainting the earth on consumers, saying we need to recycle more. But today’s throw-away culture exists because Big Corporations choose to make single-use products and packaging that cannot be recycled.

CLF in Action

While we consumers do our best to recycle, much of what goes in our bins actually ends up in a landfill or incinerator. The real problem? Big Corporations keep churning out single-use packaging that’s drowning our environment. And the bill to manage their waste is paid for by cities and towns.

CLF is taking action to hold Big Corporations accountable for the trash they create. Alongside partners, we are advocating for a groundbreaking law called Producer Responsibility for Packaging in every New England state. This law requires Big Corporations that make and use single-use packaging to reimburse cities and towns for the cost of managing that trash. Putting the responsibility back on Big Corporations incentivizes them to redesign their packaging to be truly recyclable or better yet, reusable. 

We already succeeded in passing the nation’s first producer responsibility law Maine. Now we’re working on the rest of New England.

What’s at Stake

In 2017 alone, the U.S. generated 267.8 million tons of trash – only about 67 million tons of which were recycled. Most of that trash gets landfilled or incinerated. But just because we bury or burn our waste doesn’t mean it’s gone for good. At landfills, toxic chemicals seep out as leachate (garbage juice), contaminating nearby soil and groundwater. And burning our trash creates air pollution, releasing toxic emissions that neighboring communities are forced to breathe in. What’s more, these methods for “dealing” with our waste lead to climate-damaging emissions.

These harms are unacceptable. We have solutions to this problem, and Big Corporations need step up and play their part. That’s why CLF is committed to seeing Producer Responsibility for Packaging laws in every New England state – so that Big Corporations are held accountable for phasing out single-use products and packaging. By dumping disposables, we can move towards more sustainable methods for managing our waste – and protect the health of our communities and environment in the process.