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Upstream® was founded in 2003 as a public-interest, non-profit organization by a group of Zero Waste activists in the US and Canada. While working together in the 1990s, these leaders felt too many environmental groups were only focused on “downstream” or “end of pipe” solutions like recycling and composting. But they knew we can’t recycle or compost our way to a sustainable future. We have to work “upstream” to redesign the systems generating all the waste in the first place.

So we’ve been hard at work for nearly 20 years - ideating, co-creating and accelerating real-world practical solutions to plastic pollution and today’s throw-away culture. We're building a movement to "make throw-away go away" through business, policy and cultural innovation.