One Scientist’s Hopeful View On How to Repair the Planet

Read the full story at Yale Environment360.

Ecological crises may be piling up in a seemingly hopeless cascade, but Swedish scientist Johan Rockström says the next few decades offer an unparalleled opportunity to undo the damage.

GLRPPR’s P2 Week blog posts

As Pollution Prevention Week wraps up, check out the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable’s blog posts. Topics range from P2 intern programs and the Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Awards to P2 resources you can use.

25 Years Preventing Pollution: A Retrospective Report

Updated 9/30/15 to correct link to document.

Download the document.

The Pollution Prevention (P2) Act, passed 25 years ago, represented a paradigm shift in our nation’s approach to solving pollution problems. In clear terms, the Act called for industry, government, and the public to look upstream in manufacturing processes — to prevent sources of pollution rather than use end-of-pipe reduction or clean-up strategies. To contextualize the Act within a larger history of pollution prevention, this report seeks to answer a few questions: Where did the conceptual shift from control to prevention come from? What has been the Act’s impact or legacy? And what’s next?

Imagine a world without waste: it’s possible with a circular economy

Read the full story in The Guardian. As Pollution Prevention Week winds down, it’s worth noting that the sustainable design strategies associated with the circular economy are also pollution prevention strategies. P2 lives within today’s sustainability movement. We just don’t call it that very often anymore.

We can remedy our planet’s problems, but only if we are willing to redesign wasteful manufacturing processes and give up our throwaway habits.


What’s an ounce of prevention worth?

Read the full post at EPA.

As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It’s easier to prevent something bad from happening than to fix it after it’s already happened. For me this means stopping pollution before it starts, which is the core concept behind pollution prevention (P2) or sustainability.

Here’s a couple of real world examples of how costly it can be to clean up pollution after it’s already happened:

  • Effective P2 practices could have avoided hundreds of millions of dollars of PCB cleanup costs. PCBs are a hazardous chemical that can cause cancer and were banned in 1979. Cleanup of Hudson River PCB contamination alone has cost more than $500 million.
  • If we can take effective action to slow down the rate of climate change, we can save not billions but trillions of dollars over the coming decades.

From these examples I know that an ounce of prevention is worth millions of dollars in clean-up activities and countless environmental hazards. What many people may not know is that sustainable practices started out as P2.

Happy Pollution Prevention Week!

P2-Week-Poster-2015-cropped-for-WPTwenty-five years ago, Congress passed the Pollution Prevention Act. Pollution Prevention (P2) Week, celebrated during the third week of September each year (September 21-27, 2015),  highlights the efforts of EPA, its state partners, industry, and the public in preventing pollution right from the start. Read more about the Pollution Prevention Act at

This week, the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable will be doing daily blog posts to highlight P2 projects and resources. Read all of the posts associated with P2 Week at

GLRPPR and other P2 programs throughout the country will also be using #P2Week and #25YearsofP2 hashtags on social media to highlight the importance of pollution prevention as the cornerstone of sustainability.