Issues

UPSTREAM works on a core set of issues as we pursue our mission to build a healthy, sustainable, and equitable society by addressing the root causes of environmental harm.

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Corporate Accountability
The way we currently design, produce, use and dispose of most of our products and packaging is through a linear “cradle to grave” system – what Story of Stuff creator, Annie Leonard, refers to as the “Take, Make, Waste” system of industrial production and consumption.

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Plastic Pollution – 
Plastic packaging and products are too often designed for the dump. A lot of throw-away plastic products end up as litter which eventually winds up in waterways and the ocean where it fouls beaches, kills wildlife and leads to toxic garbage gyres in the world’s oceans.

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Climate Change
The energy used to extract, transport, manufacture, and use goods is significant. UPSTREAM research shows that products and packaging account for 44% of US’s global greenhouse gas impacts – more than heating and cooling of buildings, local passenger transportation, or food production.