Nothing we use for a few minutes should threaten our health and pollute our future for hundreds of years.

Every day, people throw away tons of plastic “stuff”—cups, plates, bags, containers, forks, knives, spoons and more. All of this waste not only clogs our landfills, trashes our parks, and litters our streets, but it also washes into our rivers and oceans, where it can harm wildlife.

Recycling certainly can help mitigate the problem. But unfortunately, of the millions of tons of plastic we produce every year, most is currently not recyclable, and we produce vastly more waste than our recycling infrastructure can handle. As a society, we need to stop creating enormous quantities of unnecessary waste in the first place, rather than focus only on recycling and re-using waste after the fact.

The good news is that we have lots of alternatives to single-use plastic items would prevent needless harm to the environment.

It’s Time To Stop Trashing Our Future

CONNPIRG students continue to run campaigns to get their communities and campuses closer to our vision of zero waste. Over the past few years our chapters have advocated for a plastic water bottle ban and bag ban at UConn Storrs,  and worked on campus to increased recycling and education at Trinity College.

Victories for Zero Waste

CONNPIRG worked to pass the original Bottle Bill back in 1978 to reduce the litter caused by beer and soda containers. It was updated in 2009 to include water bottles, and today, 70% of containers covered under the Bottle Bill are recycled. CONNPIRG has also been instrumental in advocating to shut down Connecticut’s oldest and dirtiest power plants.

In collaboration with our friends at MASSPIRG, we launched a campaign to ask Dunkin Donuts to phase out their use of their foam cup. After about 1 year of petitions, calls to headquarters and social media actions- Dunkin’ made a global commitment to stop using foam by 2020!

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Student Advocacy Group Applauds Dunkin’ Donuts’ Move Away From Foam Cups

Student PIRGs applauds Dunkin’ Donuts’ decision last week to phase out expanded polystyrene foam (commonly known as “styrofoam”) cups from its stores by 2020.The change will remove around a billion polystyrene cups, which pollute the ocean and can take centuries to biodegrade, from the waste stream.