Make Markets Work
In the late 1980s, garbage was in the news. Nowhere was the problem more visible than in New York City. Landfills overflowed with trash, garbage barges floated offshore, and debris regularly washed up on nearby beaches. Many people blamed corporations for the problem, especially fast-food purveyors such as McDonald’s. Every one of its “billions and billions served” generated throwaway packaging. All told, the nation’s ravenous appetite for fast food was creating hundreds of thousands of tons of waste each year.1
Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), was personally confronted with the issue one day in 1987 as he sat in a Manhattan McDonald’s enjoying a Happy Meal with his three children. At ...