Founded in 1991 and established at UEPI at Occidental in 1997, the Pollution Prevention work at UEPI has functioned through education, policy advocacy, research, outreach, and technical assistance regarding alternatives to environmentally hazardous products, processes, and industry sectors. Its most notable work has been in the dry cleaning sector, involving the research, evaluation, and policy development for the substitution of non-toxic alternatives to perchloroethylene, the predominant toxic solvent used by many cleaners. Earlier projects included research and policy work in a variety of other industry sectors, including janitorial cleaning products, pulp and paper, and electronics.
Among other accomplishments, UEPI became one of the leading experts on pollution prevention issues in the garment care industry. The garment care project was launched in 1995, when PPC initiated the first comprehensive analysis of a pollution prevention technology. Central to the success of this program was the creation of real world demonstration sites throughout the LA Basin, which was a critical step in building the infrastructure necessary to sustain the commercialization of this technology.
In 2009, the Garment Care Project moved to UCLA as part of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.