Human Journey

A New Life for Filters and Food Containers

by Emily Main

Earlier this week, we posted a blog about a new water filter, ZeroWater, made by the only company in the U.S. currently recycling its filters. Well, a day later we found out that they’ll only hold that distinction until the end of the year.

Come January, Brita will start recycling its filters as well, thanks to pressure from consumers and from people who took issue with an ad campaign condemning bottled water for spending “forever in a landfill,” seemingly forgetting that used plastic water filters do too.

More accurately, the filters will be recycled by Preserve, the conscientious household-product maker, which already uses recycled #5 polypropylene plastic (most of it from Stonyfield Farms yogurt cups) in its product line. Preserve will start using Brita’s #5 plastic casings in toothbrushes, razor handles and kitchen ware, and will send the filter media (the activated carbon and other elements) to “be regenerated for alternative use or converted into energy,” according to a press release sent out by both companies.

Also starting in January, Preserve will accept ALL your products made with #5 plastic–butter and yogurt tubs, reusable plastic bottles, medicine bottles–as part of a new “Gimme 5” program. Preserve has arranged a partnership with Whole Foods Market to set up recycling bins for these items and Brita filters in stores, but if you don’t live near a Whole Foods, you can send them directly to Preserve. For more information, visit Brita or Preserve.

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Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

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