The Plastics Ban List and Better Alternatives

In 2016, 5 Gyres worked with Clean Production Action, Surfrider Foundation, and UPSTREAM to produce the Plastics BAN (Better Alternatives Now) List, which identified the most harmful plastic products sold in California and readily-available alternatives. The report was the first compilation of four datasets detailing the types of plastic pollution found in the state’s environment. It determined the top 15 offenders--including food wrappers and containers, plastic bottle caps, and plastic bags--and was timed to launch in support of Proposition 67, which banned the use of plastic bags in the state. The BAN List highlighted the near total lack of brand identity in the pollution datasets, detailed the functional and material alternatives that could replace the use of current single-use disposable products, and called on producers to invest in new material design, take financial responsibility for infrastructure costs and drastically reduce the use of single-use disposable plastic. Set for 2017, BAN List 2.0 will expand to a national focus.

Molly de Vries