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Unleaded Education

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Report | TexPIRG Education Fund

Funding the Future of Superfund

The Superfund toxic waste cleanup program is in charge of cleaning up America's most dangerous toxic waste sites. But for years, it's been underfunded, which has slowed down cleanup and put more people at risk of exposure to hazardous waste. The Funding the Future of Superfund: Addressing decades of slowing toxic waste cleanup report addresses the progress of the Superfund program in 2021 and what new funding from the reinstated "polluter pays" tax will mean for the future of Superfund toxic waste cleanup.

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Blog Post

How to reduce your foodprint for your 2022 New Year’s resolution | Danielle Melgar

Many of us use this time of year to reflect on what we want to do differently in the year ahead. One resolution that could really help the planet? Reducing your foodprint.

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Blog Post | Solid Waste

10 steps Whole Foods can immediately take to reduce single-use plastic | Juliana Clejan

The national chain prides itself on being a green grocer, but in reality, their promises fall short. Here are 10 steps that Whole Foods should take – many of which have already been taken by other retailers – to be more sustainable and ultimately be an industry leader once again.

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News Release | US PIRG Education Fund

STATEMENT: New tip guide reveals how to spot counterfeit merchandise when shopping for gifts online

As we get deeper into the 2021 holiday season, online shoppers need to beware of counterfeit products, from knockoff sports merchandise to fake-branded perfumes or electronics that aren’t genuine.

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News Release | TexPIRG Education Fund | Public Health

New Report: Toxic waste cleanup efforts lag, putting Texans at risk

A new report finds that only 10 of the nation’s most toxic Superfund sites were cleaned up in Fiscal Year 2020 -- less than one seventh of the annual total in the 1990s. Environment Texas Research and Policy Center found that insufficient funding jeopardized the cleanup of 55 existing Superfund sites in Texas, as well as potential new sites such as the creosote plume underneath the Fifth Ward and Kashmere Gardens neighborhoods in Houston, where two cancer clusters have been discovered. 

“Millions of Texans live near these sites, which have chemicals either proven to cause -- or suspected of causing -- major health problems,” said Catherine Fraser, an associate with Environment Texas. “Congress’ failure to reinstate a Polluter Pays Tax to ensure cleanup at these sites is a choice to prioritize their bottom line over the lives of Americans.”

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Solid Waste

U.S. PIRG Education Fund urges the public to hold Coca-Cola accountable on its pledge to reduce plastic use

The Coca-Cola Company, a top plastic polluter according to a 2020 Brand Audit from the nonprofit Break Free From Plastic, announced a new commitment today to start using plastic bottles made with 100 percent recycled plastic for select brands in some U.S. states. According to the company, it would account for a nearly 20 percent reduction of new plastic used in North America compared to 2018. The commitment follows similar ones made by other major consumer goods companies, recently documented by U.S. PIRG Education Fund.

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News Release | US PIRG Education Fund

Statement: Toxic metals found in baby food

A report released Thursday by a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee said four of the seven largest baby food manufacturers have sold baby food with “significant levels of toxic heavy metals” dating back to at least late 2019.

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News Release | US PIRG Education Fund | COVID-19

Report: Nursing homes cope with huge staff shortages

At any given time throughout most of 2020, more than 200,000 Americans resided in nursing homes that admit they were suffering through staff shortages.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

McDonald’s commits to eliminating toxic ‘forever chemicals’ in food packaging globally

McDonald’s announced a commitment to eliminate per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food packaging used in its restaurants by 2025. PFAS are linked to kidney and liver problems, high cholesterol, reduced immune system function, and cancer.

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Report | TexPIRG Education Fund | Democracy

Following the Money

Citizens’ ability to understand how their tax dollars are spent is fundamental to democracy. Budget and spending transparency, holds government officials accountable for making smart decisions, checks corruption, and provides citizens with an opportunity to affect how government dollars are spent. “Special districts” are a type of government agency that exist outside of traditional forms of general purpose local or state governments, and serve key governmental functions such as public transit or housing.

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Report | TexPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Predatory Loans & Predatory Loan Complaints

This is the seventh in a series of reports that review complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In this report, we explore consumer complaints about predatory loans, categorized in the database as payday loans, installment loans, and auto title loans.

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Report | Budget

Following the Money 2016

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar scores receives an "A-" in this year's annual report on online transparency. Texas' high score is due, in part, to recent State innovations implemented by Comptroller Hegar. 

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Report | TexPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Highway Boondoggles 2

Twelve proposed highway projects across the country – slated to cost at least $24 billion – exemplify the need for a fresh approach to transportation spending. These projects, some originally proposed decades ago, are either intended to address problems that do not exist or have serious negative impacts on surrounding communities that undercut their value.

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Report | TexPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Trouble in Toyland

For 30 years, TexPIRG Education Fund has conducted an annual survey of toy safety, which has led to over 150 recalls and other regulatory actions over the years, and has helped educate the public and policymakers on the need for continued action to protect the health and wellbeing of children.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

T-Mobile Data Breach: Tips to protect yourself | Teresa Murray

The hackers say they have personal data on 100 million people. Long before this breach, you should have assumed some or all of your personal information was compromised

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Blog Post

Another longtail of COVID-19: medical debt | Patricia Kelmar

How the pandemic has worsened the medical debt crisis

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Blog Post | Antibiotics

Wendy's takes action to stop antibiotic overuse | Matt Wellington

Wendy's, the third largest burger chain in the country, committed to prohibiting the routine use of medically important antibotics in its meat supply chains by the end of 2030. 

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips, Consumer Protection

Waking up to the dangers of inclined infant sleepers | Teresa Murray

If you’re stunned that safety standards for inclined sleepers weren’t required before, get this: The new rules don’t take effect for a year. That’s one of the problems in the world of infant sleep.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

Robocalls are declining but not gone yet, so remember these tips to protect yourself | Teresa Murray

With the new federal law in effect as of June 30, 2021, we should start seeing a decline in illegal robocalls. But the scams certainly won't halt overnight. Here are some tips to live by.

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Blog Post

Planning ahead and getting creative with leftovers reduces food waste for a fun, sustainable celebration.

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Consumer tips on how to check your credit report accuracy

Blog Post

Medical debt, even when it is paid off, remained on credit reports for up to seven years. That's about to change. Here's how to make sure paid medical debt doesn't lower your credit score.

Blog Post

It's easy to spend thousands more on a car than you meant to, especially when dealerships use tricks and traps to lock you into bad deals. The FTC has proposed new rules to help.

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

The U.S. Senate confirmed commission nominee Mary Boyle on Wednesday, nearly a year after she was nominated by President Biden, by a vote of 50-48. 

Solid Waste

PIRG hosts webinar with MythBusters' Adam Savage on Right to Repair

Our national network and the Right to Repair team organized a summit featuring keynote speaker Adam Savage from MythBusters. He shared his thoughts with us on the movement and we discussed our current progress on the Right to Repair campaign.

 

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