The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Category Archives: Brita water filter campaign

February 13, 2009

Gimme5, Brita, Preserve, and You!

Can you believe that the day this photo was taken I was so sick I could barely stand up?

I wrote all about the culmination of the Take Back The Filter campaign in a post on the Take Back The Filter web site, but I forgot to write about it here… until today. Michael woke me up from a sound sleep this morning with the news that I and the campaign had made the front page of a very important newspaper. Better than the NY Times, I made our local East Bay Express.

Seriously, the article “The Blogger and the Bleach Company” is very well-written and balanced, describing the reasons behind the campaign as well as its results. And reading it, I realize how important it is now that the recycling program has been created that we support it and make sure Brita users know it exists. If no one actually returns their filters for recycling, the program could fail and be discontinued.

Here’s the deal: Preserve has created a recycling program called Gimme5Read the rest

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… Read the rest

September 18, 2008

Brita Subvertisement: a gift that dropped into our laps tonight!

Please don’t let me interrupt the conversation happening on the previous post. I’ve been reading your comments, even though I don’t really have time to respond right now. But I just had to jump in and tell you about a wonderful gift that the Take Back The Filter campaign received today.

First, have you seen the Brita filter ads discouraging bottled water that go “X minutes in/on the XYZ, Forever in the landfill”? For example, a woman on a treadmill with a disposable plastic water bottle that goes, “30 minutes on the treadmill. Forever in a landfill.” If you haven’t, it might be worthwhile to check them out here.

First, I am not disparaging Brita’s campaign. If it’s helping to slow the sales of bottled water, I am all for it. But as you know, the plastic Brita filters are also not recyclable, which is why we started the Take Back The Filter campaign to urge Brita to create a way to recycle the… Read the rest

May 20, 2008

"Take Back The Filter" takes on "Bay to Breakers"!

Well, I put out the call, and Tanya and Christa volunteered to help me, dressed as a BRITA filter, get across San Francisco. They came over Saturday night, along with my friend Mark who pretty much majored in costumes and makeup in college, to work on costumes and signs and eat pizza. (BTW, we ordered pizza from Rustica on College Ave and requested it be delivered without that little plastic thing in the middle that keeps the lid from sticking to the cheese. And you know what? The lid and cheese did just fine without that little plastic thing.)

Here’s a link to the full article on the Take Back The Filter site.

And here’s a link to more photos from the day.

Along the way, dese frat guys with some kine beer machine begged me to be da first water filter to do a “full extension.” Wow. That sure was tempting. But I was on a mission and politely declined their generous offer.

Gotta run. Gotta finish up my work and get home so Mark and I can put the… Read the rest

May 14, 2008

Dare me to dress like a BRITA filter and walk across SF?

This could be me at this Sunday’s SF Bay to Breakers because, you know, I have a Barbie Doll body and a giant BRITA filter cartridge in my living room. It could be me if I can get at least one volunteer to walk the 12K (7.65 miles) with me, hold my water bottle, and pass out flyers to the cheering crowds. I’d love to have a whole team of people walking with us and wearing signs that say “” But it will only take one confirmed volunteer to get me to actually do it.

Why can’t Terrible Person walk with me? Why, because he is running the Bay to Breakers, attempting to break his personal awesome record time of 56 minutes last year. Michael trained. Beth did not. Michael will be finished in under an hour. Beth will be sweating in a cardboard costume for over two, probably. But there’s karaoke at The Mint afterwards. And if that’s not incentive enough, I just don’t know what is!

Don’t… Read the rest

April 17, 2008

Announcement – Phone meeting with Clorox tomorrow!

I haven’t posted in a few days. Have been feeling under the weather (as opposed to over the weather? Over the rainbow?) and in between coughs, sending emails to folks to sign the Take Back The Filter campaign petition.

Good news: Just got an email from a representative from Clorox and scheduled a phone meeting for tomorrow at 8:30 Pacific Time. As I write this, we’ve collected 184 signatures on our petition. It’s a great start, but I just know we can do better. If you haven’t signed yet, now’s the time. Can we get 500 by tomorrow morning???

I don’t care if you are not a current Brita customer. You could be in the future if they would take care of their waste, right? And I’m not requiring your email address or even home address (although those are helpful to us to have.) Just name, city, state, zip code.

Sorry to hound you. By next week, I’ll be back to my regular plastic-blogging self. And tomorrow I plan to … Read the rest

April 14, 2008

Brita Take Back The Filter campaign has begun!

Okay, remember all my posts about how frustrating it was that Brita filter cartridges can be recycled in Europe but not in the U.S.? And how we had our water tested and found it perfectly fine without plastic water filter cartridges? Well, giving up water filters was a fine decision for us here in the SF Bay Area where we have some of the best water in the nation. But it’s not a great solution for folks in other areas of North America that may not.

If you’ll recall, I set up a recycle_brita Yahoo! group to plan strategy for a campaign to urge Clorox, the company that owns Brita in North America, to develop a similar Take Back Recycling Program for Brita cartridges here. Now, after several months of writing to Clorox and planning our strategy, I’m happy to announce that the Take Back The Filter campaign has officially begun. Join us in asking Clorox to:

1) Redesign its Brita filter cartridges so that the plastic housing can be refilled rather… Read the rest

July 10, 2007

Brita water filter follow up

04/14/2008 Update: If you’ve reached this page because you want to know how to recycle Brita filter cartridges in North America, please visit for more information about the campaign to urge Clorox (owner of Brita in North America) to develop a take-back recycling program for these cartridges!

I received the following e-mail from Brita yesterday in response to my 2nd e-mail to them:

From: “Brita Consumer Services” To: Subject: Reference Number: 4959167 Date: Mon, 9 Jul 2007 16:48:09 -0500

Ms. Beth Terry [address omitted] Reference Number: 4959167

Dear Ms. Terry,

Thank you for writing back.

The technology used in the filters in some countries is different than what is used in the USA. This is why our filters are not considered recyclable. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Again, thank you for contacting us.

Sincerely,… Read the rest