UN SDG #12 Responsible Consumption and Production UN SDG #12
UN SDG #13 Climate Action UN SDG #13

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Recycling is A Popular but Inadequate Response to Accumulating Waste

Over the past 40 years, the scale of environmental problems has increased to monumental proportions, while environmental politics has shrunk to the micro level. Injunctions for each individual to “do their part” by modifying their lifestyle and consumption habits multiplied, while collective action and policies targeting environmental degradation at the point of production diminished.

challenge

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Recycling is A Popular but Inadequate Response to Accumulating Waste

Over the past 40 years, the scale of environmental problems has increased to monumental proportions, while environmental politics has shrunk to the micro level. Injunctions for each individual to “do their part” by modifying their lifestyle and consumption habits multiplied, while collective action and policies targeting environmental degradation at the point of production diminished.
300M
people impacted
$192.6B
potential funding
the problem
Nature and Context

The “individualization” of environmental politics has been described and critiqued, but no convincing explanation for it presented. The individualization of environmental politics is due to skillful management by key corporate interests. In order to deter costly legislation, producers have created and implemented solutions that appeal to environmentalists’ concerns, yet in a way that defines individual consumers, not producers, as the source of environmental degradation. The lack of a mass environmental movement enabled producers to organize these solutions on the fertile grounds of civil society.

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the impact
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financial insights
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ideas
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