Sustainable Packaging Project

UPSTREAM engages key stakeholders to develop and advance sustainable packaging systems through public and corporate policies.

The project’s primary purpose is to change our current packaging systems that are causing widespread natural resource destruction, wasted recyclable materials and economic opportunities, climate disruption and plastic pollution. We work to understand the perspectives of all parties in policy debates, and to advocate for policies that advance the public’s interest in packaging discussions. As part of this process UPSTREAM initiates and
facilitates dialogues to determine what policies local governments, environmental advocates and businesses can support. We develop model policies to help advance sustainable packaging systems, and work to build broader coalitions to advance them. Through our policy dialogues, we seek to:

  • Identify issues and concerns regarding Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging, and other core policy tools.
  • Recommend processes for addressing potential issues.
  • Build a common understanding of the issues involved with a transition to producer-funded programs.
  • Provide a platform for local governments, environmental groups, and businesses to support and advocate for packaging systems that successfully advance their goals and interests.

Extended Producer Responsibility provides opportunities for higher performance, higher service-orientation, decreased government administration and costs, lower and more equitable tax or ratepayer burdens, and significant environmental benefits through increased reuse, recycling, composting, better packaging design, and effective litter prevention and plastic pollution mitigation.

For more perspective on sustainable packaging policy, please read: