Who We Are

Who We Are

UPSTREAM is an entrepreneurial non-profit organization. We spark innovative solutions to plastic pollution for a throw-away-free world.

We work with iconic venues to move them from the status quo -- the single-use, throw-away model -- to real and reusable. We create the conditions for communities to become throw-away-free and reusable to-go businesses to thrive. We share the stories of our throw-away-free places and communities.

The future is real and reusable. The future is throw-away-free.

There's a better way than throw-away.

Meet UPSTREAM

We know this space and we know how to effectively lead in it.

We formally advise the UN’s Environment Program.

Our team collectively speaks to audiences of thousands within industry, NGO and government leaders every single year.

We helped create Break Free From Plastic and its U.S. hub plus a network of 15 states and 4 Canadian provinces working on sustainable product policy.

We are thought leaders for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) with more than 100 laws now on the books.

We helped the Urban Sustainability Network develop its first plastic pollution project.

We built the first plastic pollution movement in California.

There’s a better way than throw-away - join us in creating it.

Meet UPSTREAM

We know this space and we know how to effectively lead in it.

We formally advise the UN’s Environment Program.

Our team collectively speaks to audiences of thousands within industry, NGO and government leaders every single year.

We helped create BreakFreeFromPlastic and its US hub plus a network of 15 states and 4 Canadian provinces working on sustainable product policy.

We are thought leaders for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) with more than 100 laws now on the books.

We helped the Urban Sustainability Network develop its first plastic pollution project.

We built the first plastic pollution movement in California.

There’s a better way than throw-away - spark innovative solutions with us.

Meet UPSTREAM

We know this space and we know how to effectively lead in it.

We formally advise the UN’s Environment Program.

Our team collectively speaks to audiences of thousands within industry, NGO and government leaders every single year.

We helped create Break Free From Plastic and its U.S. hub plus a network of 15 states and 4 Canadian provinces working on sustainable product policy.

We are thought leaders for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) with more than 100 laws now on the books.

We helped the Urban Sustainability Network develop its first plastic pollution project.

There’s a better way than throw-away - join us in creating it.

Our Story

You might think we're anti-plastic zealots. We're not.

Our Board

New York City, NY
Portland, ME
Los Angeles, CA

Mark Hays

President
Washington D.C.
Palo Alto, CA and NYC
Portland, ME

Dawn Erlandson

David Stitzhal

Steve Sherman

Vice President
Minneapolis, MN
Treasurer
Berkeley, CA
Secretary
Seattle, WA

Lauren Daniluk

Jon Hinck

Marion Hunt

Clayton Kyle

Leslie Tamminen

Our Board

Mark Hays

President
Washington D.C.

Dawn Erlandson

Vice President
Minneapolis, MN

Steve Sherman

Treasurer
Berkeley, CA

David Stitzhal

Secretary
Seattle, WA

Lauren Daniluk

Palo Alto, CA and NYC

Jon Hinck

Portland, ME

Marion Hunt

New York City, NY

Clayton Kyle

Portland, ME

Leslie Tamminen

Los Angeles, CA

Our Influencers

Caitlin Fitzgerald

Evan Segal

Kamal El-Wattar

Caitlin Fitzgerald

Kamal El-Wattar

Evan Segal

Our Partners

#breakfreefromplastic

5 Gyres
Algalita
#breakfreefromplastic
Californians Against Waste
CalRecycleCenter for Biological Diversity
Center for Coalfield Justice
CIEL
Clean Production Action
Clean Seas Coalition
Clean Water Action
Corporate Accountability
Earthworks
Ecocycle
Ecology CenterFood Packaging Forum
Food & Water Watch
FracTracker Alliance
GAIA

Greenpeace
Inland Ocean CoalitionI
PENNCEL
Natural Resources Council of Maine
NRDC
NYPIRG
PLAN
Plastic Pollution Coalition
Oceana

Responsible Purchasing Network
Safer Chemicals Healthy Families
The Story of Stuff Project
Student PIRGs
Surfrider
TEJAS
Texas Campaign for the Environment
Think Beyond Plastic
VPIRG
Zero Waste Washington

Our Team

Brooking Gatewood

Podcast Host and Team Coach 

Brooking hosts UPSTREAM’s The Indisposable Podcast and guides our team on virtual collaboration and culture-building. She has worked with Break Free From Plastic U.S. and P4, its predecessor, since 2016 as a facilitator and strategist, and has spent much of the last decade supporting collaborative leadership for many ambitious change efforts - from saving monarch butterflies to curbing diabetes. In her spare time, Brooking can be found writing and performing poetry, or hosting community-connection events in her local LA neighborhood.

Miriam Gordon

JD, Program Director

Miriam has had a life-long interest tackling waste and toxics issues to make the world a better place. Previously, she was the California Director of Clean Water Action between 2008 and 2016, where she launched ReThink Disposable, a program that helps food service operations move to throw-away-free. She was a leading advocate helping the Clean Seas Coalition secure 150 local bag bans and 100 foam bans, and helped ban micro-beads in personal care products and secure the statewide bag ban victory in California. Working for the state, she authored the California Action Plan to Reduce Land-Based Discharges of Marine Debris and the California Marine Litter Reduction Strategy.

Julie Lamy

Engagement Director

Julie joins Matt to form UPSTREAM's management team. Whether she's out front making friends and building networks or behind the scenes making sure UPSTREAM is working like a smooth machine, she is an ensthuastic believer in a better way than throw-away. Julie brings 25+ years of experience with non-profits of all sizes, community problem solving skills, and a Peace Corps experience to UPSTREAM. And she plays frisbee year-round, outside....in Maine. No cabin fever here.

Lauren Moore

Unicoordinator

A writer, editor, and activist, Lauren is UPSTREAM's Lead Unicorn, directing our flow of magic, management, social media, and special projects. Co-leading the #BreakFreeFromPlastic Integrated Narrative group with Shilpi Chhotray, Lauren works with partner groups to bridge the full story of plastics, from fossil fuel extraction to ocean microplastics. She also serves on the #BreakFreeFromPlastic US Convening Team, connecting groups working toward the same plastic-free future. 

Inder Nirwan

Marketing

Inder coordinates and executes much of UPSTREAM's outbound marketing. His background in filmmaking and storytelling brings a special kind of flare to the way stories are shared throughout UPSTREAM's ecosystem.

Matt Prindiville

Executive Director

Matt is a recognized thought leader within the plastic pollution community and advises the United Nations Environment Program on their plastic pollution strategies. He is one of the founders of the global Break Free from Plastic Movement and the founder of the Cradle2 Coalition and Make It Take It Campaign. He helped establish and advance the Electronics Takeback Coalition, the Multi-State Mercury Campaign, and the Safer Chemicals and Healthy Families Coalition. Matt has written for the Guardian, GreenBiz, and Sustainable Brands among other publications. He’s been featured in the Economist, the New York Times, on NPR’s 1A, Jack Johnson’s Smog of the Sea film, and consulted with 60 Minutes on their plastic pollution special. He can be found surfing, snowboarding, and coaching his daughter's basketball team. 

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