The Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN) supports students in reimagining systems beyond the Linear Consumption Economy. We equip students with the resources and tools necessary to holistically understand the Global Waste Crisis and lead solutions on their campuses. Collectively, we can build a world beyond waste.
PLAN team 2021 group photo
Our Story & Vision:
The Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN) was founded in 2013 by a group of college students. These students witnessed a systemic waste problem on their campus and developed the first student-led, financially self-sustaining, zero waste move-out program of its kind. Other campuses wanted to replicate the program and from there, PLAN was born.
Since then, we have established a network of students and campuses across the country, working together to re-vision beyond the Linear Consumption Economy. Today, our current focus is on supporting zero waste efforts on college campuses. Through this work, we strive to create a model for holistic, systemic change that goes beyond waste.
PLAN cultivates student leadership in alignment with the broader Zero Waste and Environmental Justice movements. PLAN positions students as leaders on their college or university campuses and supports them to become life-long changemakers. We recognize student power as a critical component to the just transformation of campuses and of the broader society. PLAN leverages student power in order to build solutions to the Waste Crisis. Working in collaboration with our movement partners, we address the Linear Consumption Economy at each of the Points of Intervention. Together, we are working to actualize thriving circular economies rooted in the intrinsic value and self-determination of people and the planet.
What We Do:
PLAN aids college students, as well as campus faculty and staff, in tackling unsustainable infrastructure on their campuses. To do this, we provide digital and in-person support via our leadership trainings, resources, consulting, and zero waste programming. Our team guides members in this Movement to look further than the prevalent, single-issue struggles and to push towards a deeper understanding of oppressive systems.
We partner with mission-aligned individuals, nonprofits, and for-profits, that are models of these innovations, and connect them with our broader network. Moving towards a collective campus and community network will allow us to envision a more just and sustainable future. Read more about how we align our values with action in our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Mandate.
Our Theory of Change:
The Points of Intervention framework is the theory of change that PLAN adopted, in 2017. It is a framework that shifts and challenges various social injustices, in which the points are “…specific places within a system where a targeted action can effectively interrupt the functioning of that system, opening up space for change”.
PLAN focuses on the Linear Consumption Economy, in which resources are extracted from the earth to produce a product, that product is distributed across the world, is sold to consumers, and finally discarded to a landfill or incinerator. With 60 percent of global greenhouse gas output coming directly from the stuff we consume, it is clear that climate change, waste, and the social inequities that result are not issues in isolation from one another. This system exploits people and the planet at every step along the way, generating profit for the powerful and leaving the rest of us behind. We believe students have the power and responsibility to challenge this system. Whether it be blockading the path of a pipeline, starting a compost program, or distributing an informative zine about upcycling across campus, everyone has skills they can use to intervene. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. And together, we can fix this broken system.
Although our network includes all the student leaders, sustainable businesses, radical organizations, and other zero waste heroes we work with, PLAN’s operations are pulled off by a small team working out of out of Philadelphia as well as remote staff in Dover, NH, Pittsburgh, PA, Columbia, SC, and Moab, UT.