UPSTREAM was founded in 2003, motivated by the understanding that we cannot recycle our way to a sustainable future — we have to work upstream, building and sustaining an infrastructure that supports a circular economy.
Upstream sees one of the biggest opportunities to address plastic pollution is through changing cultural norms around how we access food and drinks when on the go — to make throw-away “weird” and throw-away-free the new normal. And with support from Plastic Solutions Fund, Upstream is building a movement to make throw-away go away by helping policymakers, businesses, community leaders and individuals accelerate the transition from single-use to reuse.
To jumpstart this campaign, Upstream is helping to establish Throw-Away-Free Places and Throw-Away-Free Communities, starting with iconic venues and vanguard cities that can demonstrate there’s a better way than throw-away, and provide a model that others will want to follow. These efforts will also help pave the way for others to take this concept and run with it — businesses, communities and individuals alike — creating synergies, momentum and action that reinforce, renew and speed the change.