Close-up of red grocery basket next to an aisle of vegetables packed in plastic

So Long, Packaging Waste…

Hello, Producer Responsibility

Virtually everything we buy is needlessly overpackaged. So, what do we do about it? We change the system! And a new type of law will get us there. Producer Responsibility for Packaging laws hold large corporations responsible for the waste they create. What’s more, they prioritize real solutions – like reusable packaging programs.

The Problem with Packaging Waste

Approximately 33% of household trash is packaging waste. Most of that packaging is unrecyclable plastic that overwhelms our waste system and pollutes our neighborhoods.

Yet, the large companies producing this waste have no incentive to reduce the amount of packaging they use. In fact, corporations like to make packaging as cheap as possible for themselves – meaning they use materials loaded with toxic chemicals and that can’t be recycled. Why? Because companies have no responsibility to pay for or manage their colossal mound of trash.

graphic concept. planet earth in a plastic bag.

Instead, this physical and financial burden of needless waste falls on individuals and local governments. But that doesn’t make any sense! We have no control over how this packaging is designed, how much is used, and whether it is recyclable or not. As a result, even though we try our best to recycle, most packaging waste finds itself in a landfill, an incinerator, or even in the environment as litter.

86 million tons

of plastic packaging is produced globally each year

Source: Ellen Macarthur Foundation

Advancing the Solution

We need drastic change. And that’s where producer responsibility for packaging comes in. Well-designed producer responsibility laws can require large corporations to take on the financial burden of managing their waste. What’s more, these laws can mandate companies to limit the amount of packaging they create and to redesign their packaging to be both recyclable and non-toxic.

We Work to Educate the Public and Elected Officials On the:

+ Link between our current waste systems and environmental and public health issues

+ Benefits of well-designed producer responsibility for packaging laws

+ Industry’s campaign to undermine progress

This is easier said than done. Currently, four states have producer responsibility for packaging laws. Yet, none of them require companies to limit packaging waste, few address toxicity, and some even give corporations control of their own “recycling reform.” If that weren’t enough, the same companies burying us under an avalanche of packaging waste are campaigning to block producer responsibility legislation across the country.

Just Zero won’t put up with this nonsense. We’re keeping an eye on legislation across the country and we won’t pretend that weak or harmful bills will solve the problem.

Join the movement

Scroll to Top