Boy with plastic bottle in kitchen

Waste
& Toxics

 

Making Minnesota a Healthy Place to Live

We’re committed to promoting heathy communities by reducing waste, reusing resources, and removing toxic chemicals from goods and resources Minnesotans bring into their homes.

We work together with our neighbors, business leaders, and decision makers to promote waste reduction, recycling best practices, and good stewardship of the resources we have. Conservation Minnesota helped pass policies that make it easier to recycle hazardous materials and improvements to the Minnesota’s Electronic Recycling Act.

There are more than 80,000 chemicals used in commerce, but the EPA has required safety testing on only 200.

Today, consumers aren’t considering only the environmental impacts of products but also the impacts to human health. While it can be difficult to determine what chemicals and products are safe, we educate citizens and policymakers on the need for laws regulating the use of chemicals and products that could cause harm to our health and environment. We helped make Minnesota the first state to ban BPA (bisphenyl-A) from baby bottles and sippy cups. And we worked with the Minnesota Professional Firefighters Association to pass the most comprehensive flame retardant ban in the country.

Most recently, Conservation Minnesota has been working to ban the use of the toxic chemical TCE (trichloroethylene). TCE is an industrial solvent, and known human carcinogen, which can be released both into the air and our water. And in May of 2020, Minnesota became the first state in the nation to phase out TCE

Waste & Toxics Initiatives
Waste Barrels

Trichloroethylene or “TCE” is an industrial solvent often used as a degreaser for metal. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies TCE as a human carcinogen and a developmental toxin. The chemical has been banned in the European Union and Sweden, but it is still widely used in the United States. In May of 2020, Minnesota was the first state in the nation to ban the toxin. 

Two male firefighters walking next to fire truck

Twice, we’ve helped pass laws that protect our kids and firefighters from toxic flame retardant chemicals.

Peregrine falcon in flight
Get the Lead Out

Lead is a toxic metal that has adverse effects on the nervous and reproductive systems of mammals and birds. Found in most fishing jigs and sinkers, this metal is poisoning wildlife such as loons and eagles.