Hi Ms. Parsons,
Thank you very much for taking the time to get back to us. We are grateful for your concern about our experience of being unable to get a response from Keep America Beautiful. Your concern that our four phone calls in July did not result in a response is appreciated.
As our conversation revealed, we are still very eager to speak with Keep America Beautiful about its activities, vision, and approach to waste issues in America. Since you did not feel comfortable answering some of our questions, we would be grateful if you would please forward the following questions to the appropriate person at Keep America Beautiful.
Knowing that Keep America Beautiful’s mission is “Engaging individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community’s environment,” we are curious why KAB selected recycling as the focus of its current campaign rather than reduction or reuse.
Under the Programs and Initiatives section of your website, the only programs that have a reuse or waste reduction component are the Give and Go Move Out 2013 and Cars to Donate programs. Your 12 other programs are all focused on recycling or litter. While we applaud KAB’s ability to maintain a very focused approach to waste issues, given that the EPA lists source reduction and reuse at a higher level of their waste management hierarchy than recycling and disposal, why doesn’t KAB have more programs aimed to promote waste reduction and reuse in America?
KAB lists the Coca Cola Foundation, The Glad Products Company, Waste Management, Nestle Waters North America, and many others as major corporate sponsors. Given such committed sponsorship from companies that produce disposable items or that find a revenue source in disposable items, why does KAB’s mission emphasize individual responsibility and not corporate responsibility?
Acknowledging the substantial support such corporations bring to KAB, what efforts does KAB make to provide their corporate sponsors with alternatives to continuing to produce such massive quantities of disposable items? It seems that litter control programs and recycling campaigns (both of which are very expensive) would no longer be required if the disposable packaging and disposable products manufactured by corporations such as your sponsors were phased out or manufactured in a manner more considerate of their disposal.
One potential means by which KAB could assist its sponsors is through advocating extended producer responsibility. Does KAB advocate extended producer responsibility?
Once again, we would like to thank you for your concerned response to our four unsuccessful attempts to contact Keep America Beautiful. We are excited to continue this conversation with KAB about positive responses to the waste issues that are most important to the United States.
Philip Corrigan and Margaret Morales
The Trash Blog