Posts in Waste
Starbucks to Eliminate Plastic Straws by 2020

Conrad MacKerron, senior vice president of As You Sow, said on Monday that he was glad Starbucks had decided to do away with plastic straws. He added that public officials also need to improve composting programs to handle the increase in biodegradable straws Starbucks is proposing to use.

“A big systemic change needs to happen,” he said. “This kind of material wouldn’t break down in your backyard compost bin.”

Read More
As You Sow launches investor alliance to engage companies on plastic pollution

As You Sow is pleased to announce the launch of the Plastic Solutions Investor Alliance, an international coalition of investors that will engage publicly traded consumer goods companies on the threat posed by plastic waste and pollution. Twenty-five institutional investors from four countries with a combined $1 trillion of assets under management have signed a declarationciting plastic pollution as a clear corporate brand risk and pledging to interact with leading companies to find solutions through new corporate commitments, programs, and policies.

Read More
Starbucks Generates An Astronomical Amount Of Waste–Can It Stop?

“I’m not sure you need to look at developing dramatic materials,” says Conrad Mackerron, senior vice president of As You Sow. “We’ve got to figure out how to really fix the recycling system or really fix the composting system from that side. That’s much higher levels of investment. They need to go to their peers to get them to all give $10 or $20 billion. That would move it.”

Read More
Dunkin' Donuts to stop using foam cups by 2020

"This is a big victory, and it's taken a long time. Dunkin agreed way back in 2010, in theory, to phase out [foam cups], but it took until today for them to actually give a date and to say that they are going to switch to paper... We're talking about some very positive impacts on world oceans in terms of reducing plastic pollution," said Conrad MacKerron, Senior Vice President of As You Sow.

Read More
McDonald’s Bows to Investor Pressure on Packaging

“They said they had some hoops to jump through,” says Conrad Mackerron, the director of the waste and recycling program at As You Sow. “Just before the holiday, they indicated that they were going to be able to do this. I said, ‘That’s great, but you need to put it on paper.’ But they followed through in the same [way] as when they stuck to their word back in 2012 when they stopped the foam use in the U.S.”

Read More
As You Sow files resolution with McDonald’s for polystyrene use

As You Sow, a shareholder advocacy group that promotes social and corporate environmental responsibility headquartered in Oakland, California, has refiled a resolution with McDonald’s Corp., Oak Brook, Illinois, for 2018 urging the company to assess the environmental impact of its polystyrene use in beverage cups and food trays. The same proposal was voted on by shareholders earlier this year and received the support of nearly one-third of shares voted.

Read More
An improbable ocean voyage to end plastic waste

In response to John Tierney’s rallying cry to bury and burn waste instead of recycling it, Conrad MacKerron, founder of the EPR advocacy group As You Sow, says, "If recycling doesn’t make economic sense, then Tierney needs to ponder why the CEOs of Walmart, Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, and even Goldman Sachs last year established a $100 million loan program, the Closed Loop Fund, to boost the effectiveness of recycling by improving curbside infrastructure and recovery markets."

Read More
Can activist investors encourage better carpet recycling?

As You Sow has engaged as shareholders with the electronics, consumer goods and beverage industries over the past two decades to promote corporate responsibility for recycling products and packaging. Carpet makers represent another important industrial sector struggling to make meaningful progress on recycling, and we intend to engage with shareholders of several large publicly traded companies to improve performance in light of problems that have surfaced recently.

"We intend to engage with shareholders of several large publicly traded carpet companies to improve performance in light of problems that have surfaced recently."

"Carpet makers should spend less time hindering vendors to engage on recycling policy and more time figuring how to redesign carpet to make it recyclable."

Read More
Target says it will phase out polystyrene packaging

Polystyrene foam used for direct-to-consumer packing materials is rarely recycled, As You Sow says. “More than 100 U.S. cities or counties and nine countries have banned or restricted foam packaging in various forms,” states the group.

“We are pleased that Target has committed to work with corporate partners and peers to press for alternatives to environmentally harmful foam,” says Conrad MacKerron, As You Sow senior vice president.

Read More
As You Sow calls out McDonald's, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target for polystyrene use

Phasing out the use of polystyrene has been a priority of As You Sow's for years. Based on a 2011 shareholder resolution they encouraged McDonald's to try a pilot program that eventually resulted in the company making a full switch to paper in 2013. Though the company has yet to do this outside of the U.S. and Dunkin' Donuts hasn't followed up on a similar promise. Resolutions have also been filed with Amazon and Target, which mainly use the material for shipping.

Read More
Consumer goods giant Unilever and Ikea buy into green myth

As You Sow’s release noted: “The shareholder advocacy organization As You Sow has been engaging the company for more than a year to make its packaging recyclable, focusing especially on multi-laminate plastic sachets and pouches used for shampoos in small packages marketed in Asia that cannot currently be recycled,” said As You Sow’s release. “Much of this packaging is discarded and ends up polluting waterways in developing Asian countries due to the lack of solid waste management systems.”

Read More