Member Spotlight: EcoRate, EARTHDAY.ORG, Life Without Plastic, Post-Landfill Action Network

Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC) Members come from a wide range of sectors and are aligned in their mission to build a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts. The Coalition Spotlight is our monthly blog to uplift and showcase their work, giving our readers an inside look at some influential change-makers. This month, we highlight four members who are increasing access to reuse businesses, advocating for people and the planet over plastics for Earth Day, inspiring plastic-free lifestyles, and mobilizing students to build zero-waste systems. 

EcoRate

EcoRate is a sustainability ratings platform that helps people easily locate cafes, restaurants, refill stores, and other venues that participate in waste-prevention initiatives. Through their interactive map and app, they provide visibility for plastic-free businesses and pathways for people to support them, building a zero waste economy and encouraging widespread adoption of reuse culture.

EcoRate scores retailers based on environmental criteria and even allows the user to search for “BYO,” “Mug,” or “Glass” filters to find locations that let you bring your own thermos, use mugs or glasses for dining-in, in addition to a “can carrier” filter that displays beer shops and other venues that collect beer can carriers for reuse.

Recently, EcoRate has been making significant progress indexing an inventory of zero-waste and refill stores. Now, people can also filter their map to show zero waste stores carrying the specific zero-waste items they’re looking for, offering users added convenience, reliability, and accessibility.

EcoRate just incorporated restaurant data from Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants Program into their interactive map. This makes it easier to search for eateries via EcoRate’s website and mobile app, and add even more plastic-free restaurants to your list!

EARTHDAY.ORG

EARTHDAY.ORG is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that emerged from the very first Earth Day in 1970. The organization aims to mobilize people around the world to advocate for, create, and implement solutions to the climate crisis. From voter registration to environmental education programs, they work with over 150,000 partners in 192 countries to drive positive action for the planet on a range of interconnected issues. 

EARTHDAY.ORG has helped pass landmark environmental legislation over the years through their advocacy efforts, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act, as well as helped establish the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Part of their important work now includes a program to end plastic pollution. This year for Earth Day, the organization uplifted the theme of Planet vs. Plastics to mobilize the world to understand the harmful health impacts of plastics, rapidly phase out single-use plastics, and push for a strong UN Plastics Treaty. EARTHDAY.ORG is calling for a 60% reduction in the production of all plastics by 2040, recognizing that production limits are imperative to ending plastic pollution in the long-term. 

To educate yourself on the impacts of plastic on human health, check out EARTHDAY.ORG’s Plastics Health Research Module, and their Earth Hub for all fact sheets, toolkits, press releases, and articles. Additionally, Aidan Charron, Director of End Plastic Initiatives, spoke as a panelist in our recent webinar, “People vs. Plastic: How the UN Plastics Treaty Must Protect Our Health.”

Life Without Plastic

Life Without Plastic is a mission-based Certified B Corporation working for positive social change, improved health, and environmental sustainability. Through their products, guides, and educational materials, they raise awareness about the health and environmental problems posed by plastics while making the solutions more accessible, and empowering people to be part of the change.

Life Without Plastic offers unique, high-quality alternatives to plastic products that are carefully designed and sourced from trusted suppliers. Recently, the company has been working to bundle its products to reduce the environmental impact from ordering and shipping individual products to consumers.

Earlier this year, Jay Sinha, co-founder and co-owner of Life Without Plastic, participated in the PPC webinar Plastic-Free Resolutions: Protecting Your Health in 2024, offering common-sense steps to reduce the amount of plastic in your life with low and no-cost recommended solutions. Be sure to check out his book: LIFE WITHOUT PLASTIC: The Practical Step-by-Step Guide to Avoiding Plastic to Keep Your Family and the Planet Healthy, and the Life Without Plastic newsletter, which provides plastic-free news, tips on plastic-free living, and sales and specials from their online store.

Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN)

The Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN) equips students with the resources and tools necessary to holistically understand our waste crisis and lead solutions on their campuses.

In collaboration with EARTHDAY.ORG, PLAN has allocated almost $10,000 in Earth Day Action Micro-Grants to student projects. These include demonstrations, art installations, actions, cleanups, and more around the global Earth Day theme of Planet vs. Plastics. Check out some of these projects, which have been posted to their social platforms from Earth Day onwards.

PLAN recently launched a new Community Hub to centralize their resources and tools available to support student-led zero waste programs. They have also been updating their manuals, the most recent being the Reusable To-Go Manual. PLAN recently received the Reusies Community of the Year award for the release of this resource!

PLAN’s Students for Zero Waste Conference, held in late 2023 at Swarthmore College outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is an annual space for network building, inspiration, and solution sharing to push the movement forward. They also hosted a Beyond Waste Student Summit at Marshall University’s campus—the first school in Appalachia and the Ohio River Valley to sign the Break Free From Plastic Campus Pledge.

Check out their newly revamped website to find up-to-date language on each of their projects, and sign up for their Community Newsletter to receive updates and exciting ways to plug in.

Does your business or organization align with our mission to build a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts? Apply to join our global movement.

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Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC) Members come from a wide range of sectors and are aligned in their mission to build a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on communities and ecosystems around the world. The Coalition Spotlight is our monthly blog to uplift and showcase their work, giving our readers an inside look at some influential change-makers. This month, we highlight four members who are mobilizing communities through marine plastic research, revolutionizing safer household cleaning products, advancing ocean justice, and building reuse and refill infrastructure for tomorrow.

Algalita

Algalita Marine Research and Education is the organization that started the movement to end plastic pollution nearly 30 years ago. Founded by Captain Charles Moore, Algalita was the first organization to bring attention to the swirling soup of plastic pollution in the Pacific Ocean — a place now known by many as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Since then, Algalita has helped to evolve the plastic pollution conversation beyond tired industry narratives around “marine litter” and “plastic waste” by building a web of solutions-oriented connections between researchers, activists, educators, and young people across the globe. Algalita holds the belief that environmental educators are our greatest allies in this movement, as they are uniquely situated to inspire and equip the next generations to take action to address the growing issues facing our climate and global community today. This is why Algalita created the Wayfinder Society for Environmental Education — a program offering a diverse ecosystem of support for educators globally including unrestricted mini-grants, standards-aligned lesson plans, professional development events, classroom toolkits, and so much more. Here’s a quick video to learn more. Resources all connect to plastics but are interdisciplinary and touch on various interconnected environmental issues, including climate change, environmental justice, composting, and more. If you are an educator, sign up for their monthly newsletter for educators to get plugged into their free resources. 

In addition, Algalita’s presence in their local community of Long Beach, California, continues to grow. Recognizing that reuse is an important part of the plastics conversation, In 2017, they partnered with Julie Darrel, founder of BYO Long Beach, to open the first reuse storefront in all of Los Angeles County — and it’s connected to Algalita’s office! Now, BYO Long Beach has another storefront in the East Art’s District in Downtown Long Beach and also has an online store as well.

Want to stay up-to-date on Algalita’s work? Sign up for their newsletter here.

Blueland

Blueland is reimagining everyday home essentials to eliminate single-use plastic and provide consumers with safe and sustainable cleaning options that are convenient, effective and affordable. From hand and dishwasher soap, to mirror and multi-surface cleaners, Blueland is eradicating plastic from household cleaning with its nontoxic tablets and powders. Simply mix the cleaning tablet you desire with water in your reusable spray bottle and enjoy hassle-free cleaning that prevents single-use plastic pollution from cleaning products. The tablets ship straight to your home, saving you a shopping trip and the planet from emissions, as the tablets are significantly lighter to ship! And of course, the products are all in plastic-free packaging.  

To date, Blueland’s innovative products have helped divert just under 2 billion single-use plastic bottles from landfills and oceans, avoided over 10 million square feet of plastic packaging, and prevented 2.5+ million pounds of CO2 equivalent emissions from heating the planet. In addition to those metrics, Blueland meets a number of impressive standards to demonstrate their commitment to safe ingredients, efficient water and energy use, carbon-neutral shipping, and employee satisfaction. Some of these include: Cradle to Cradle, EWG Verified, EPA Safer Choice, Climate Neutral Certified, B-Corp, and more. 

Blueland has been advocating for the Pods are Plastic Bill, recently introduced in New York City, that would ban any laundry or dishwasher detergent pods and sheets that contain Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA). Because PVA does not disappear and pollutes our waterways after use, this bill would send an important signal to businesses and individuals that plastic products should not be designed to go down our drains, into our water, the environment, and our bodies. You can learn more about the Pods are Plastic Bill at podspollute.com and send a message of support to your representative. In addition to this bill, Blueland has also been lobbying for the Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act (PRRIA), which would require companies to pay for and manage plastic waste in which they produce, while prohibiting certain toxic chemicals in packaging.

Earth Law Center

Earth Law Center (ELC) is a non-profit organization working to advance ecocentric laws, policies, and governance for the well-being of the Earth Community, addressing climate change, biodiversity loss, and degradation of ecosystems to restore a flourishing Earth Community on behalf of present and future generations of all species. The Ocean Program of Earth Law Center is diligently committed to engaging in and advancing plastic pollution mitigation and legislative initiatives. Emphasizing the concept of ocean justice—protecting the ocean, fulfilling human rights, and progressing social equity—ELC aims to amplify justice issues linked to the full “life cycle” of plastics alongside the UN Plastics Treaty negotiations, with forthcoming advocacy to engage and empower youth in partnership with EarthEcho International.

ELC recently published a report, “Advancing Ocean Justice in the Global Plastics Treaty,” which argues why a justice-centered approach to the UN Plastics Treaty that encompasses the whole life cycle of plastic is imperative to safeguard human and ocean health long term. The youth-led report provides textual recommendations for the treaty, offering a roadmap for embedding justice throughout its articles, including Emissions and Releases of Plastics, Microplastics, and a Just Transition. In addition to their new report and work on the UN Plastics Treaty, ELC offers a number of ways communities can learn and take action to combat plastic pollution, including this comprehensive toolkit to guide local policy.  

ELC actively participates in global initiatives as a member of the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the UN Harmony with Nature Initiative, the High Seas Alliance, and as a partner of Mission Blue. They will feature at three events at next month’s EarthX Conference, hosted in Dallas, Texas, around Earth Day (April 22-26), reputed to be the world’s largest green gathering, welcoming nearly 200,000 visitors in prior years. 

Feel free to read and share their new report, contact them to collaborate or share ideas, sign up for their newsletter, and sign our petition to urge the U.S. government to take a stronger stance in the upcoming treaty negotiations.

O’Land

O’land is a company operated out of Montreal, Quebec, on a mission to build a world without single-use plastic pollution by providing reusable infrastructure, starting with water stations, that deliver basic human needs while protecting our health and the environment. Their water refill and hand sanitizing stations offer high-quality water dispensing infrastructures, eliminating the need for single-use plastic bottles. 

Water refill stations are a key component of the transition towards a reuse economy, as they provide a healthy alternative to single-use plastic bottles that pollute the planet. O’land stations are helping to chart that course by making water refill and reuse easy. Installed at corporate events, large music festivals, and a multitude of other venues, their stations are 360 degrees, contactless, and fast, which help prevent lines and create a seamless refill experience for large crowds. 

With every refill, one single-use plastic bottle is avoided and won’t pollute our planet. In September 2023, the company reached one million bottles avoided after four years of operations, and helped avoid 100,000 tons of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gasses. This year, they have expanded operations from Canada to the United States to increase their impact and help build a refill and reuse economy, one station at a time. 

Interested in renting or purchasing a station for your next event? Find out more here, and even enjoy custom branding.

Does your business or organization align with our mission to build a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts? Apply to join our global movement.

Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC) Members come from a wide range of sectors and are aligned in their mission to build a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on communities and ecosystems around the world. The Coalition Spotlight is our monthly blog to uplift and showcase their work, giving our readers an inside look at some influential change-makers. This month, we highlight four members who are showcasing grassroots organizing, storytelling for environmental justice, stainless steel replacements for solo cups, and a zero waste marketplace.

All Things Kind Market

All Things Kind Market is the first one-stop shop for zero waste products and refills in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. Built on values of human kindness, mindfulness, and community, this sustainable home goods market is providing Centre County and an online community with a wide variety of everyday goods that are free of plastic. From reusable beeswax food wraps to nontoxic moisturizers and beauty products in aluminum packaging, markets like All Things Kind are paving the way for consumer awareness about plastic waste and inspiring a societal shift towards regenerative alternatives and reuse.

Last year, All Things Kind Market refilled 7,808 oz of soap, saving almost a thousand 8-oz plastic bottles from ending up in landfills, incinerators, or our environment. Their most popular refill items include hand soap, laundry soap, and toothpaste tablets—all products that most Americans buy in single-use plastic packaging that is hard to recycle and clogs waste management streams. 

On March 4, All Things Kind Market will be celebrating 1 year in business. They have recently opened a “small shelf” satellite store in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to expand access to their favorite sustainable goods. They also recently won Best New Business in Silver through Best of State College and were featured in Forbes as a sustainable brick and mortar store. View their online store to swap single-use plastic products in your home, support this small business, and help grow the zero waste movement!

Brookhaven Landfill Action and Remediation Group (BLARG)

Brookhaven Landfill Action and Remediation Group (BLARG) is a grassroots environmental justice organization from Bellport, New York, seeking to close and clean up the toxic Brookhaven Landfill, which has harmed the community of North Bellport and surrounding neighborhoods for almost 50 years. The landfill continues to negatively impact adjacent communities’ air quality, groundwater, health outcomes, economic future, education sector, and quality of life, and exposes systemic injustices from the culmination of human waste.

BLARG was formed after the death of George Floyd with the acknowledgment and realization that the only way to prevent premature death of Black people is to identify what systemic issues are putting Black lives most at risk. Like many communities across the U.S., Brookhaven experiences systemic racism from decisions to place heavy polluting facilities, such as a toxic landfill, next to communities of color as a path of least resistance. BLARG is working to expose, interrupt, and rectify the harm this landfill has caused through remediation, equitable regional and local waste plans, and zero waste solutions that reduce, reuse, and reconceptualize waste that restores communities and allows them to thrive.

In 2021, BLARG helped stop the expansion of the landfill which was a monumental achievement to protect future generations from harm. They also have led a successful Community Composting Collective for the last 3 years that has diverted tons of organic waste from the landfill, preventing significant amounts of planet-warming methane gas from being generated  and released in the atmosphere.

Visit their site to learn more about their work, how to conduct your own Community Waste Audit, or get involved.

People over Plastic

People over Plastic is a BIPOC-led storytelling collective that uplifts and centers the stories of leaders, activists, journalists, artists, and community members to build an anti-racist, plastic-free future. This cultural and media hub was kickstarted with a wildly successful podcast that features leaders on the frontline of petrochemical production and plastic pollution, which is now well into their fourth season. 

Their work focuses on the entire value-chain of plastic pollution, from fossil fuel extraction to waste incinerators, and documents stories from the heart of Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities most harmed by big plastic. Their team operates through the lens of environmental justice, which they define as both a recognition and a remedy to a legacy of systemic racism and historical injustices from exploitation, cultural genocide, and enslavement. 

Through a series of nuanced, sensitive and in-depth podcasts, news stories, events, and other media engagements, they uplift stories of resilience and advance community-based solutions. People over Plastic aims to create accessible dialogues and thought-provoking conversations that spur systems change and restore communities.

For Black History Month, People over Plastic highlighted its pillar Food Sovereignty by featuring Barcelo Gardens in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Check out all four seasons of the PoP podcast to learn about stories of resilience, activism, and community-based solutions. Co-founder and president Shilpi Chhotray also moderated Plastic Pollution Coalition’s April 2023 webinar, Greenwashing: Debunking the Plastic Industry’s False Narrative.

Pirani Life

Pirani Life is a company on a mission to end the 500 Billion+ disposable cups wasted around the world every year. Their flagship product, the Pirani Insulated Stackable Tumbler, was designed to make convenience less wasteful and inspire more sustainable lifestyles as people celebrate. It’s stainless steel, triple insulated, stackable, dishwasher safe, and can keep a beverage cold for 12 hours!

Their tumblers are popular because of their versatility, feel, vacuum seal, and plastic-free packaging. These cups empower people to adopt more sustainable habits because they can be brought to every occasion, enhancing your next experience from a trip to your favorite coffee shop or an outdoor concert. 

Pirani is a small, family owned company that is a member of 1% for the Planet, working towards B Corp certification, and committed to initiatives that advance conservation and plastic pollution awareness. In addition to their plastic-free packaging and shipping practices, they are actively working on a circular take-back program for their products that provide customers with discounts in return.

This spring, they will be launching their newest 10-oz wine and whiskey stackable tumbler with enhanced organization features for maximum space efficiency. Check out their ultra-durable and plastic-free products and inspire reuse for your friends, family, and colleagues.

Does your business or organization align with our mission to build a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts? Apply to join our global movement.

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