Launched in January 2019, Beyond Plastics is a nationwide project based at Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont, that pairs the wisdom and experience of environmental policy experts with the energy and creativity of college students to build a vibrant and effective anti-plastics movement.
Our mission is to end plastic pollution by being a catalyst for change at every level of our society. We use our deep policy and advocacy expertise to build a well-informed, effective movement seeking to achieve the institutional, economic, and societal changes needed to save our planet, and ourselves, from the plastic pollution crisis.
It will take changes at every level of our economy and civil life to stem the tide of plastic pollution. Individuals need to be moved to act in their personal lives and take action as part of a growing movement; corporations need to feel the pressure to initiate changes in their purchasing and packaging habits; governments need to impose bans and adopt laws that require extended producer responsibility; and new manufacturing of plastic has to be prevented from spreading. Beyond Plastics seeks to educate the media, policymakers, and the public on the plastic pollution crisis; encourage businesses to eliminate single-use plastics; train students to become leaders in the anti-plastics movement; and help block new plastic manufacturing and plastic burning facilities.
Bennington College has distinguished itself as a vanguard institution within American higher education. It was the first to include the visual and performing arts in a liberal arts education and the first to integrate work in the classroom with work in the field. Bennington students work intensively with faculty to forge individual educational paths around their driving questions and interests. Its continued emphasis on self-directed learning, made real through hands-on experience in the field, has established Bennington as a bellwether among the nation's liberal arts colleges. The Center for the Advancement of Public Action (CAPA) is a national leader in preparing undergraduates to become agents of social change. CAPA's mission is to educate students in public action; to be a catalyst, convener, and creative space for social change; and to design solutions to the urgent social, political, and environmental problems of our time.