Making Vermont a safer and healthier place to live by reducing waste and eliminating toxins from consumer products, drinking water, and our environment.

Thousands of toxic or untested chemicals are used in products we’re exposed to every day in our homes, schools, and workplaces. From PFAS in our drinking water to pesticides in our natural environment to harmful chemicals found in single-use plastics and other consumer products, there are simply too many hidden dangers. These toxins are building up in our bodies and contributing to alarming trends in public health, including increased rates of birth defects, developmental disabilities, reproductive disorders, cancers, and more.

VPIRG supports federal and state legislation that will get known toxins out of consumer products and require health and safety testing before chemicals make it into products on our store shelves. We are also committed to promoting a circular economy that reduces waste, creates jobs, and holds manufacturers accountable for environmental impacts from the full life cycle of products they create.

Learn more about our Environmental Health campaigns:


Recent Environmental Health News

Vermont’s e-waste recycling program begins

On Friday, July 1st, Vermont’s new electronic waste (e-waste) recycling program will begin, providing free and convenient recycling of e-waste to Vermont residents, charities, schools, and small businesses. The recycling program, known as “Vermont E-Cycles”, was created by a VPIRG-backed law passed by legislators last year requiring manufacturers of electronics to finance the cost ...

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Vermont’s E-waste Recycling Program

On Friday, July 1st, Vermont’s new electronic waste (e-waste) recycling program will begin, providing free and convenient recycling of e-waste to Vermont residents, charities, schools, and small businesses. The recycling program, known as “Vermont E-Cycles”, was created by a VPIRG-backed law passed by legislators last year requiring manufacturers of electronics to finance the cost ...

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2011 Legislative Accomplishments

The 2011 legislative session was filled with victories on VPIRG-backed legislation across each of our program areas. With a new governor in office for the first time in eight years, our small state suddenly had opportunities to pass the kind of major policy initiatives that our friends in other parts of the country could only ...

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Governor Shumlin Signs Mercury Lamps Bill

On May 19th, Gov. Shumlin signed the Mercury Lamps Bill, which will establish a recycling program for light bulbs that contain small amounts of mercury. We all know the benefits of fluorescent bulbs. They save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, they also contain mercury which makes the need for effective light ...

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2011 Legislative Session at a glance

One of my favorite things about directing VPIRG is that by working with members like you and our partners across the state, we manage to get things done that my colleagues in other states can only dream about. Consider our list of accomplishments in the legislative session that just ended on Friday.

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Mercury Lamps Bill Passes Senate

On Thursday, the Senate gave final approval to a bill that requires manufacturers of mercury-containing lamps to establish and finance a free and convenient recycling program for their spent bulbs from residents and small businesses. Pending the Governor’s approval, Vermont will become the third state in the country to establish such a program.

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S. 34 Mercury Lamps Fact Sheet

A guide to the Mercury Lamps Bill (S.34). S.34 would require manufacturers of mercury-containing lamps to establish a free and convenient recycling program for fluorescent bulbs. By financing the cost of recycling their products, manufacturers will have a powerful incentive to design their lamps to last longer and to exclude the toxic materials, including ...

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Fact Sheet on Green Cleaning

Conventional cleaning products used in schools can contain a wide variety of harmful chemicals that have been linked to asthma, cancer, and other negative health effects. The potential for these chemicals to pollute indoor air and impair the health and comfort of students and staff cannot be dismissed.

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