UPSTREAM developed the Plastic Pollution Prevention Project (P4) to Align U.S. non-profitS around scaling solutions to plastic pollution

In the last 10 years, efforts to combat marine plastic pollution have grown from a handful of scientists to a global movement with constituents ranging from community-based advocacy groups, to government and corporate actors, to powerful national and international NGOs. The P4 Project brings together the core non-profit leaders working on plastic pollution to collaborate on projects and campaigns to scale solutions to plastic pollution. A majority of consumer goods companies, packaging suppliers and plastics manufacturers are headquartered in the United States. The decisions made in board rooms here have ripple effects throughout the world. Pressuring corporations to change while engaging Americans to question the pervasiveness of disposable plastics are primary leverage points for US public interest groups to impact the global problem.

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Strategic Framework:

DECREASE SUPPLY & DEMAND FOR DISPOSABLE PLASTIC: Drastically reduce the use of plastic for single-use disposable applications by consumer goods and food service companies.

INCREASE SUPPLY & DEMAND FOR SAFER ALTERNATIVES: Shift design away from harmful plastics toward a) functional service strategies that reduce material use all-together and b) bio-benign materials made from sustainable feedstocks where appropriate.


CHANGE THE NARRATIVE & CAMPAIGN FOR CHANGE: Shift consciousness to replace the “throw-away society” and “plastics are progress” with a culture of stewardship that questions the use of plastic – material that is essentially “designed to last forever” – for disposable applications that are “designed to last a minute.” Run effective campaigns to change corporate behavior, impact policy debates, and reinvent US citizens’ relationship with plastic.


Other Projects

Packaging Policy

Working on state and local policy solutions where companies take responsibility for packaging waste.

Cities Innovation

Convening and supporting city governments to reduce plastic pollution, boost recycling, and grow jobs.