Solutions journalism is news about how communities and organizations are responding to social and environmental problems. This collection contains solutions stories about innovative ways to reduce our use of packaging -- especially plastics -- as we purchase and use food products in particular.
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Want to use some or all of these stories in a classroom or community setting? We'll add questions here soon to get you started, but in the meantime, we invite you to make a copy of this collection and create your own.
According to the EPA, containers and packaging contributed 82.2 million tons to the municipal waste stream of the United States in 2018 - that's 28.1 percent of the total, with packaging defined as "the product used to wrap or protect goods, including food, beverages, medications and cosmetic products." Project Drawdown estimates that worldwide, we produce 310 million tons of plastic. each year. Much of this is single-use plastic, including shopping bags, food containers, plastic utensils and straws, which are thrown away just minutes after being used. From the fossil fuels required to manufacture plastic, to the pollution it creates in our oceans, to filling our landfills, the entire life-cycle of plastic causes waste and environmental harm. Join the Earth Month Ecochallenge to learn more and take action on this climate solution or this "Zero Wasted" community for regular tips and insights into living without packaging.