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As we continue our special series for The Reusies™, the first ever National Reuse Awards, we invite you to listen in on a conversation with Matt Prindiville and Erin Simon from World Wildlife Fund (WWF) who is one of our honorary award judges. As WWF’s Head of Plastic Waste and Business, Erin discusses how her expertise as a packaging engineer infl…
 
This week, we’re kicking off a special episode series for The Reusies™, the first ever National Reuse Awards. Matt Prindiville sits down with Ron Gonen, Founder and CEO of Closed Loop Partners, who are presenting The Reusies inaugural event with Upstream this year. Hear about Ron’s journey from sanitation in New York City to a venture capital firm …
 
Host Matt Prindiville sits down with reuse service company Dishcraft’s Linda Pouliot, Tootsie’s at the Stanford Barn restaurant owner Rocco Scordella, and Upstream Business Innovation Director Samantha Sommer to discuss the Serve It Safe pilot, which launched earlier this year. Tune in this week for an inside look at the challenges and opportunitie…
 
This week, we’re listening in on a panel discussion, originally recorded last month on World Oceans Day (June 8, 2021), which analyzes the impact of human actions on the ocean. In this special livestream hosted by ESGX, Upstream CEO Matt Prindiville moderated a discussion with reuse experts from companies such as Newday Impact Investing, r.Cup/r.Wa…
 
Happy #PlasticFreeJuly! One of the most powerful ways for people to engage in the Break Free From Plastic movement is the global brand audit project. In this episode, we talk with Global Brand Audit Coordinator Sybil Bullock and hear from leaders around the world about how this citizen science initiative is helping to catalyze change by identifying…
 
Last week, Upstream unveiled a new brand identity which we feel really conveys who we are and our core values – to be Innovative, Inspiring, Invitational and Inclusive. The new Upstream logo symbolizes the circular reuse economy and incorporates a heart to emphasize our passion for the mission we’re working towards – and that everything we do is wi…
 
This week, Matt Prindiville chats with Sandra Noonan, Chief Sustainability Officer at Just Salad, a fast-casual restaurant chain on a mission to make everyday health and sustainability possible. Just Salad’s innovative BringBack Bowl pilot program gives customers the option to receive their pickup or delivery orders in a signature reusable and retu…
 
In this episode, we celebrate the launch of Reuse Wins – a hot-off-the-digital-press report by Upstream that shows how a new reuse economy is emerging to replace single-use products in food service. We dive deep into the weeds of life-cycle analysis (LCA) and economic data to understand why Reuse Wins and what our world will look like when we trans…
 
When working within a system designed to disconnect us from our bodies, the choice to be “embodied” becomes part of our activism to transform ourselves and our world. This episode explores the challenges of staying centered in world-changing work, and tips and tricks to practice embodied activism in our work and in our everyday lives – from acknowl…
 
Dave Ford, CEO of the Ocean Plastic Leadership Network (OPLN), brings together a diverse group of leaders, organizations and interests working to end the flow of plastics into the world’s oceans. Learn how OPLN’s 15-million-strong network of waste collectors – including plastics supply chain companies, NGOs, environmental organizations, public sect…
 
Over the past 50 years, as the human population doubled, wildlife populations halved. Join a thought-provoking discussion with Kelley Dennings, Population and Sustainability Campaigner at the Center of Biological Diversity. Learn about her work to connect human population growth with threats to endangered species and wild places – and how we can ch…
 
If you’ve ordered takeout or delivery from a local restaurant, you’ve had the same experience over and over: your delicious meal is being served in a disposable container that’s used for a matter of minutes and then thrown away. Fortunately, the number of reusable systems in food service is growing. On May 12, 2021, we welcomed three special guests…
 
In policy organizing, we often define the win based on the outcome of a bill or ballot measure, with little regard for process. But when we think longer term about building real grassroots power, success is measured differently. In this episode, we talk with veteran power-building policy strategist Dana Laurent from the Ballot Initiative Strategy C…
 
The process is simple: when you go to place an online order from Toad & Co, click the “reuse” button at checkout and your order will arrive in reusable packaging. Then, all that’s left is to unwrap your items, flip the label around, and put the bag back in your mailbox. Toad & Co is the first company to pilot this new packaging system, created by f…
 
Join UPSTREAM CEO Matt Prindiville and Algramo’s Brian Bauer in a ground-breaking conversation about reuse solutions that make everyday goods like detergent and dish soap accessible to low income households without all the waste. Algramo is a Chile-based startup partnering with some of the largest brands in the world – including Unilever, Nestle an…
 
In celebration of Earth Day, we invite you into a very special dialogue with Juan Macias, tribal chairman and hereditary chief of the Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe of Texas, Mary Aguilera with the Ohio Poor People’s Campaign, and Sylvia McKenzie with the Louisiana League of Conscious Voters. These front-line leaders dive deep and wide into the heart of t…
 
Some of our listeners may have heard of Dame Ellen MacArthur, the famed sailor who set the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation around the globe. But what people may not know is that she also started the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF), which has become one of the world’s most influential environmental organizations – working to insp…
 
Check out our first episode featuring babies (you will hear them playing in the background!) as we discuss one solution to the challenge of sustainable, affordable, practical diapers. EarthDiaper.org a California-based nonprofit offering compostable diapers to families in need, was founded to address this problem on a local scale. We speak with pub…
 
Back in the pre-pandemic days, some of our listeners may have attended a concert or an event where r.Cup provided their reusable cup service to replace single-use cups. And one of the special things that they did was work with some of the world’s biggest artists, like U2, Jack Johnson, and the Rolling Stones to engage their audiences around reuse. …
 
What did Americans do before we had public waste management? What did UPSTREAM do before the plastic pollution movement began? What were the big turning points that got us to this dawn of Reuse we find ourselves entering in 2021? What’s the world we’ll live in after plastic pollution is gone? From 1800s horse poop to today’s innovative reuse compan…
 
This episode features a “power hour” with three experts working across the political spectrum from federal to state to local policy. Listen to Yinka Bode-George from the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, Judith Enck from Beyond Plastics, and UPSTREAM’s own Miriam Gordon to learn what 2021 holds for plastics policy under the new Biden ad…
 
Samantha Sommer built a project called Rethink Disposable that helped several hundred food service providers in the San Francisco Bay Area make the shift from single-use to reuse. From mom & pop restaurants, to chains, to institutional dining and college and corporate campuses – Sam helped prove that every single business has saved money once they …
 
The New Year is a time for accountability and making commitments for healthier behavior in the year ahead, right? Well, then no better place to start the year than looking at the US’s new ranking as the #1 plastic polluter in the world. Not exactly a cause for celebration, but where there is culpability there is also opportunity for accountability.…
 
Many of us will be engaging in gift exchanges this December. Whether it's Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day or New Year’s, ‘tis the season for buying stuff. But we can still participate in the spirit of the holidays without all the waste! This episode – featuring Kate Nelson (Plastic-Free Mermaid) and Plaine Products CEO Lindsey McCoy – expl…
 
Join UPSTREAM CEO Matt Prindiville as he interviews Tom Szaky, a self-described eco-capitalist, who launched Terracycle from his dorm room at Princeton in 2003. Terracycle works with brands to collect and repurpose their hard-to-recycle waste and operates in over 20 countries, engaging more than 80 million people. Fifteen years later, Tom leveraged…
 
Ayleen Farnood and Madhav Malhotra are two high school students in Toronto, Canada, who were concerned by the plastic pollution crisis and curious to learn how to help. Their shared interest sparked a deep learning journey, which gave birth to the Plastic Shift an organization already getting a lot of public attention. The pair has conducted extens…
 
This episode features our livestream originally aired September 24, 2020 hosted by UPSTREAM Board member Letise LaFeir. Environmental justice leaders Mustafa Santiago Ali and Miriam Torres join us for a frank discussion about race, the environmental movement, and intersectionality. Get ready for an incredibly rich and educational discussion, and be…
 
Sithara Menon and Valerie Nguyen started organizing as soon as they got into college, and have each seen significant success – from historic California climate legislation to the recent UC-wide ban on single-use plastics. In this episode, we talk with these young leaders about this epic win, what’s next for students working to #breakfreefromplastic…
 
Small businesses have been struggling amidst the constraints of COVID-19, but Vanessa Pope’s story of Mudlab is one of resilience, resourcefulness, and the power of community-based business. In this episode, we learn how this visionary Oakland resident has built a hub for reuse community with creative partnerships, serving locals a lot more than ju…
 
With COVID-19 came opportunistic marketing for the plastics industry, resulting in people all over the world using more single-use stuff under the misguided notion that it is “safer.” This summer, over 115 health experts from around the world signed onto an evidence-based statement to validate the truth behind safe sustainability: Reusables are saf…
 
This episode features winners from UPSTREAM’s recent Plastic Free July contest, where we passed the mic to our listeners to highlight your stories of how you are building a #betterwaythanthrowaway. Our featured winners are Maladen Gayuek, Cofounder and CEO of PlasticScore, an app that rates restaurants on their single-use plastic usage; Jess Blasko…
 
From rafting down the Mississippi to a fishing line ring proposal on a sail to the trash gyres in the middle of the ocean, Marcus Erickson’s life is an ongoing adventure story. Also a PhD scientist and activist and co-founder of 5 Gyres, Marcus’s adventures these days are all about doing good through research and activism to address plastic polluti…
 
Many environmental organizations are trying to figure out how to become anti-racist in a space with a longstanding history of both intentional and unintentional racism and exclusion. Many white leaders in our movement are simultaneously grappling with a personal history of ignorance and inaction on the problem of racism in America. In this candid c…
 
Listen to in an interactive and hopeful conversation about the safety and future of reuse in America with epidemiologist Dr. Ben Locwin and entrepreneurs Tom Szaky and Lindsey Hoell. We discuss how reuse solutions and systems can help: - save businesses money - get people back to work - protect public health - stop plastic pollution & reduce waste…
 
Like millions around the world right now, at UPSTREAM we’ve been talking a lot about racial justice in America. We’ve been holding in our hearts the countless Black Americans who’ve effectively been treated as disposable in our society and justice system. We’ve been meeting as a team to look at how we can do more and better to support change. And w…
 
What’s a beautiful disruption? A culture hack? A story war? How do big events like pandemics change the stories we tell about our world? And how can we help shape that change toward the more beautiful world we want to live in? Join Dancing Fox co-founders Brian Fitzgerald and Tommy Crawford for this deep dive into the wondrous world of re-shaping s…
 
The recycling industry has been taking a hit the last few years, and since COVID-19, rates have dropped about 50 - 60%. But the spike in single-use waste and plummet in recycling doesn’t stop Terracycle founder & CEO Tom Szaky from feeling optimistic about the future of reuse in America. Tune in for the latest from Tom as he continues combatting pl…
 
We all gotta eat, and we all deserve the safest possible packaging and access to food. Here’s how you can protect the food coming into your home and support local businesses during the coronavirus outbreak, with a look at greater systems change. In this special feature, we explore food safety and concerns around COVID-19 with Jane Muncke, PhD ecoto…
 
“No idea is crazy enough to change the world... but you might as well try.” This is the motto and mindset of the Make a Change team, a trio of siblings who grew up in Bali and decided as pre-teens to start working on one of the biggest challenges they saw in their community: plastic pollution. The organization uses adventure and social media as a v…
 
In this episode we get a glimpse into the future of the throw-away free city with Vessel founder and CEO, Dagny Tucker. Vessel is bring reusable cup sharing systems to cities across the US and helping Americans ditch throw-away culture, one cup at a time. But for Dagny, a behavior change specialist, designer and ideator, it’s not just about cups. V…
 
Incredible things are possible when our professional lives align with our personal values. We explore some of them with Berna Tural, who shares how scuba diving took her from a successful corporate career to dedicating her life to solving our plastic pollution crisis. Berna is now Director of Strategic Partnerships & Initiatives at UPSTREAM, where …
 
Ready for some inspiration about how awesome the future without throw-away bottles is going to be—and how much is happening already to get there? Meet Samuel Ian Rosen, the visionary ecopreneur with some serious chops at scaling business solutions to real world challenges. After building a game-changing storage solution company, Samuel brought his …
 
Lucky for us and the planet, pop culture campaign experts have joined the global force of change agents bringing their hearts and minds to the issue of plastic pollution. In this episode we talk with culture creator and social marketer Emma Riley, Strategic Partnership Director for Lonely Whale - the organization that helped put the plastic polluti…
 
How can we keep plastic pollution a non-partisan issue? Why is this so important? As elections politics and recycling trade wars heat up in the US, we turn to UK-based strategist Emma Priestland for some perspective. We touch on the topics of global and European plastics impacts, economics, unique lessons from UK politics and policy, narrative stra…
 
Activism at its best is not a choice but a call - a response to injustice. Diane Wilson’s story exemplifies this, and in this interview, we get the gift of speaking with this 70 year force of nature and shrimp fisherwoman turned pollution activist. Diane has written many books, won many awards, undergone many hunger strikes and days in jail for her…
 
Reusable mugs: you’ve bought and used them, loved and lost and forgotten them, replaced and reused them. Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to remember to bring your mug everywhere you go to be part of the reusable revolution? Wouldn’t it be great if cities had cup shares that work like our bike shares? Thankfully, some brilliant innovators ar…
 
We all know that single-use plastic pollution harms marine life, so what better place to model throw-away free concessions than America’s aquariums? In this episode we talk with Aimee David, the Ocean Conservation Policy Director for Monterey Bay Aquarium, a co-creator of the Aquarium Conservation Partnership, and visionary advocate for throw-away …
 
Vending machines - the place where you get stale, single serve, plastic-packaged snacks when you have nowhere else to turn, right? Not so fast! Slow food meets convenience for reuse on-the-go in this episode, where we talk with Chloe Vichot, a New York City food ecopreneur and the co-founder of Fresh Bowl - the world’s first vending machine for fre…
 
In this episode, we get real with Stiv Wilson, an unparalleled advocate currently serving as Campaigns Director for the Story of Stuff Project, director of The Story of Plastic, and as a founding member of the Break Free From Plastic global steering committee. Stiv shares about unique vantage point on the evolution of plastic movement strategy - fr…
 
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