The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish
November 18, 2008

Brita® and Preserve® Announce Filter Recycling Program

After months of campaigning to urge Brita to take back and recycle used Brita filters, we (the Take Back The Filter group) are thrilled to announce the details of the take-back recycling program that Brita has developed. Read their full press release here.

1) Collection: Beginning in early January, Brita users will be able to drop off used filters at Whole Foods Markets or mail them to an address which will be provided closer to the start date. [From personal experience, I would recommend NOT sealing them up in ZipLoc bags. This just ends up creating a lot of soggy, wet, not-so-nice smelling filters.]

2) Recycline, dba Preserve, the company that makes recycled toothbrushes, razors, and other household products, will recycle 100% of each plastic filter casing collected into other household products.

3) The filter ingredients, activated carbon and ion-exchange resin will be regenerated for alternative use or converted into energy.

The Take Back The Filter campaign is very pleased with this solution. Of course, we would always prefer to to see the filters redesigned to be reused/refilled. But we understand that that might not be practical. And partnering with Preserve is a great alternative.

When Brita first contacted us back in April, they told us they were leaning on Waste Management to figure out how to recycle the filters. Waste Management is in the collection business. They collect plastic for recycling and sell it off, normally shipping it away to cities in Asia. We wanted the Brita filters to stay here at home where we need green jobs to bolster our economy.

According to Preserve’s Earth Efforts page:

Recycline makes nearly all of our products in the United States, working with U.S. manufacturers. This practice benefits our local economy and also reduces the CO2 emissions that would be generated by transportation of products to the United States from other countries. Sometimes we need to extend just beyond the border to guarantee quality and environmentally responsible manufacturing, so the blades for our Preserve razors are produced in Mexico.

Thank you to everyone who got involved in this campaign, sent us your used filters, signed the petition, sent letters to Clorox, forwarded emails, wrote blog posts, and helped in ways we may never know. Brita might have started recycling their filters eventually without our help, but letting them know how important this issue was to so many people certainly ensured that it remained on their radar and that they sought the most responsible method possible.

A huge thanks also to the Sierra Club! Sierra Club, as you may or may not know, already had a relationship with Clorox in helping them to develop their Green Works line of natural cleaning products. So it was natural for our campaign to partner with them to help Brita find the best way to recycle the filters.

What’s next?

The Take Back The Filter web site will remain up. If you haven’t signed up for updates, please do so. We will let you know further details about Brita recycling. And in the coming days, we will add info on how we can encourage other water filter companies (like Pur) to follow suit.

In January, we will deliver our over 500 collected filters to Brita publicly so that all of you who sent them in can see your filters handled responsibly! And for those who still have filters to send, please hold onto them until January. We will be shutting down our mailbox in a few days.

In the mean time, please send a thank you letter to Brita for the hard work they have done putting this program in place. Clorox is showing itself to be an environmental leader, which might seem unusual for such a large corporation. We’d like them to feel that going green is truly worth it, and to perhaps look at their other product lines and figure out ways to make them more sustainable as well. (I have a few ideas!)

Here’s the info for writing to Clorox:

Mailing Addresses:

Mr. Don Knauss, Chairman & CEO
Mr. Drew McGowan

The Clorox Company
1221 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612

Web Form: http://www.brita.com/contact_form_us.php
 

24 comments
Beth Terry’s Plastic Free Book Review and Giveaway
Beth Terry’s Plastic Free Book Review and Giveaway

[...] comb. After five years of writing about plastic on her blog myplasticfreelife.com, petitioning Brita water filter company to accept their filters for recycling (and winning the battle), speaking at [...]

Fake Plastic Fish
Fake Plastic Fish

Hi Julie. I think this whole thing turned out to be a great success for all involved. And, I am told, Brita is continuing to pursue options for how to recycle the faucet filters.I look forward to hearing your take on the book. But absolutely no pressure. Whenever you get to it!

Julie
Julie

This is so wonderful! Congratulations to you for your tenacity, Beth. I wrote an email to Brita voicing my support and appreciation, and they responded back in kind. Can't wait to send my first filter to them for recycling!P.S. Still working on the book I won, small though it is. I'll let you know what I think soon.

Kimberly
Kimberly

Yay! Such good news. It´s about time, Brita. So good to see grassroots efforts making change.

Erikka
Erikka

congratulations!!!

Robert
Robert

Spreading the word.This is great news!ThanksRobert

Mickey
Mickey

Hooray!Seriously, awesome.

Anonymous
Anonymous

beth, this is such an amazing story! what an astonishing accomplishment! my only question--when is the nytimes interview? seriously...

kale for sale
kale for sale

Hot ginger tea and honey cheers to you Beth. Good job!

Danielle
Danielle

Hooray! I'm really excited to read this, because it gives us an alternative to bottled water in areas that don't have clean tap water. Additionally, I wanted to direct you to my first plastic-free PR accomplishment: I was featured as a guest columnist in the newspaper today. You can read the online version here.

Robj98168
Robj98168

Way to go Beth! Recycline is a great company, makes great dhavers and toothbrushes- I have yet to try any of their other products but am sure I will love them as much!

Fake Plastic Fish
Fake Plastic Fish

Marika, I'm done collecting soggy wet water filters in my house! But we'll post info on the takebackthefilter.org site about writing to Pur and pressuring them to follow Brita's lead.Also, Brita is not collecting faucet filters at this time, so it wouldn't do you any good to switch to a Brita faucet filter.

Anonymous
Anonymous

wait let me elaborate on my last comment more...arent the pur filters almost the same as the brita? so why would preserve not take them too?

Anonymous
Anonymous

now...does this count for PUR filters too? because i dont use brita. but i do use PUR and may have a filter for you if you'll take them too.-marika

froghair
froghair

Woo hoo!! I am so happy for you and all your hard work!! Congrats, and keep it up!

Clif
Clif

Yay 4 U! As you know, I think your going on parade as a Brita Filter did the trick but all the rest of your work and that of others helped as well.I admit I'm a fool for mascots. The Pillsbury Doughboy was always close to my heart. You know how the commercials always featured someone poking a finger into his tummy. I wrote P'Bury and suggested an ad campaign to get folks involved with the motto "Give a finger to the Pillsbury Doughboy" but it never went anywhere. They didn't even respond! Clearly you are more successful at this kind of thing than I am.

Kellie
Kellie

"Proud" is the only way I can describe my feeling reading this Beth! So many people think "I'm just one person. What can I do?" Well this is it! Look what you've accomplished. You were the catalyst that made a huge corporation change their policy and their stewardship of the earth. Wow.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Great news. Job well done!-ManuelPS: greetings from Costa Rica

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  1. […] comb. After five years of writing about plastic on her blog myplasticfreelife.com, petitioning Brita water filter company to accept their filters for recycling (and winning the battle), speaking at […]