UPSTREAM Quarterly – August 2016

Project Updates | UPSTREAM Highlights | Spotlight

Launching UPSTREAM’s “Beyond the Ban” Project

Jamie RhodesBy Jamie Rhodes, Program Director

Bringing city governments and public interest organizations together to identify and deploy policies to prevent plastic pollution, reduce waste and boost recycling.

UPSTREAM has partnered with the cities of Providence, RI, San Francisco, CA, and Surrey, BC, to bring together North American cities to evaluate and explore the ways in which policies, such as product bans and extended producer responsibility (EPR), have been and can be effective at reducing the harmful impact of plastics use, especially single-use disposable applications. Continue reading

UPSTREAM Quarterly – April 2016

Project Updates | UPSTREAM Highlights | In the News | Spotlight

Trade Associations Dig in their Heels at EPR for Packaging Hearings

By Jamie Rhodes, Program Director

Another legislative session has begun, bringing with it the unending possibility of new policies in states across the country.  For the fourth year running, Rhode Island, as part of an evaluation of its existing recycling collection and sorting system, has proposed an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) program for packaging materials.  The conversation will be different in each state, yet there are a number of lessons to pull from the hearings and stakeholder engagement in Lil’ Rhody that are informative for readers across the country. Continue reading

UPSTREAM Quarterly – December 2015

Project Updates | UPSTREAM Highlights| In the News  | Spotlight


2015-Prindiville-croppedBy Matt Prindiville, Executive Director

UPSTREAM was started by a dedicated group of friends and environmental activists in 2003. The two founders, Dr. Bill Sheehan and Helen Spiegelman, were pioneers of the Zero Waste movement in the United States and Canada. Through their work together in the 1990s on expanding recycling and composting, they soon realized that while recycling is important, we cannot recycle our way to a truly sustainable future. Continue reading

UPSTREAM Quarterly – September 2015

Project Updates | UPSTREAM Highlights| In the News  | Upcoming Events | Spotlight

The Evolution of EPR for Packaging Continues…

2015-Prindiville-croppedBy Matt Prindiville, Executive Director

As UPSTREAM fans know, we have been intimately involved in the U.S. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) packaging policy discussions and debates over the last four years. This last spring, we developed and are promoting a model shared responsibility for packaging bill, which would require consumer goods companies to pay into a fund that would be managed by a diverse group of stakeholders. The funds would be used on proven strategies and tactics to boost recycling and prevent litter. A version of this bill was introduced in Rhode Island last year, and advocates in several states are looking into introducing it next year. Continue reading

UPSTREAM Quarterly – June 2015

Project Updates | UPSTREAM Highlights| Legislative Updates Take Action | In the News  | Upcoming Events | Spotlight

Speaking for the Oceans

Matt PrindivilleBy Matt Prindiville, Associate Director

Most of you probably know the tale of the Lorax – that wonderful story from Dr. Seuss about a small creature that “Speaks for the Trees,” and the Onceler, an entrepreneur hell-bent on destroying a vibrant forest of truffala trees to make his thneeds. As you may remember, the Lorax tries to persuade the Onceler to stop the madness and save what is left of the forest before it becomes too late. Continue reading