Our Waste Program advocates for more responsible production and recycling of consumer products and packaging to preserve the Earth’s limited natural resources. We want to reduce and then eliminate waste, especially in the post-consumer phase through adoption by companies of extended producer responsibility (EPR) policies.

We engage companies in the consumer packaging and electronics sectors to move them towards more responsible practices emphasizing:

  • Maximizing the efficiency and productivity of all resources used
  • Adopting extended producer responsibility (EPR) policies
  • Quantifiable efforts to eliminate waste
  • Responsible disposal and recycling practices at the end of a product’s useful life

There are hopeful signs of progress and As You Sow plays a leadership role moving corporations towards greater responsibility for the materials they produce.

You can find all our recent waste resolutions on our resolutions table.

Designed to Be Waste

Designed to be Waste addresses the issue of composite laminate/aluminum foil pouches and similar packaging that cannot be recycled and will be landfilled for hundreds of years. It is counterproductive to the development of a circular materials economy to use these unsustainable pouches when better alternatives have been around for decades. For more on As You Sow’s work to get companies to phase out pouches and other unrecyclable packaging, read about our engagement with Kraft Foods and Mondelez International.

Initiatives within this Program

Ocean Plastics
Plastic Ocean Pollution and Consumer Packaging Plastic ocean pollution, a component of marine litter, injures and kills marine life, spreads toxins, and poses a potential threat to human health.  The ocean already contains an estimated 150 million tons of plastic, with 8 million tons added annually—equivalent to a garbage truck load …

Carpet Recycling
The U.S. carpet industry lags in actions to make discarded carpets recyclable and commitments to ensure that they are collected and recycled. As companies incorporate circular economy framing into their sustainability programs, it is important to ensure that products are designed to be recycled, that programs are operating to ensure that …

Consumer Packaging
Presses consumer packaged goods and grocery companies to take responsibility for post-consumer packaging waste.

Electronic Waste
Engages manufacturers and retailers to develop recycling and take-back policies for the electronic products that the companies produce and sell.

Other Initiatives
Read about our other initiatives in Waste, including our Beverage Container Recycling initiative and our Pharmaceutical Waste initiative.