GAIA Zero Waste MasterPlan - Flipbook - Page 71
Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) 71
© Break Free From Plastic
Activists take a stand against big industry’s role in the plastic
pollution crisis at the Sustainable Brands Conference in 2019.
Local governments have limited jurisdiction
over product stewardship and EPR compared
to state and federal governments. As of
2014, municipal governments had passed
just 3 of 81 such laws in the U.S -- California’s
Alameda County and Washington’s King
County implemented EPR programs for
pharmaceuticals, and New York City required
producers to take financial responsibility for
managing products containing refrigerants.
However, municipalities are organizing
themselves to influence action at the state
level. Local governments in several states
have formed Product Stewardship Councils
as avenues to work with state governments
and other organizations to pass state product
stewardship and EPR legislation. The proposed
Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act offers an
example of federal EPR legislation and has also
influenced similar legislation at the state level.
10 Product Stewardship Institute. (2014). Electronics
EPR: A Case Study of State Programs in the United
CONDUCT BRAND AUDITS
Cities can evaluate waste audits to understand
trends in materials and product categories in
residual waste to identify where waste must
be eliminated through upstream measures.
Waste audits can also look at branded waste:
“Brand audits” to help identify the companies
that are evading responsibility for their product
and packaging waste by placing the burden on
municipalities. The rate at which companies
produce single-use plastic is an obstacle to
even the most comprehensive municipal zero
waste systems. Once the top corporate polluters
are identified, governments and advocacy
groups can exert pressure on companies to
hold them accountable for their waste, or even
ban certain items. The Break Free From Plastic
movement’s annual brand audits evaluate
corporate plastic pollution on a global level and
provide a helpful guide to conducting a citizen
science brand audit.
11 Break Free From Plastic (2019). Brand Audit Toolkit.