Good News re Brita Filters

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Two months ago we got tired of the fact that Brita filters are not recyclable/reusable. So, we made a little video to get other people thinking about the issue and to prod Brita to change their ways. In the process we met up with the Take Back the Filter campaign which was doing a lot of prodding of their own.

We are most excited to report that as of January Brita filters will be accepted for recycling!  In a deal between Clorox (parent co of Brita) and Preserve, the #5 plastic component of each used filter will become raw material used in Preserve’s products (and the other components of the used filters will be “regenerated for alternative use or converted into energy”.)  This is great news.  In our opinion, this positive change is largely due to the efforts of the folks at Take Back the Filter, so kudos to them!  Now instead of sending our bucket of used filters over to them to make a statement, we’ll hold onto them until January and then send them over to Preserve.  (This explains Preserve’s recycling program and gives some detail, with more to come, about how to get your used filters to them.)

Positive reinforcement is a great way to encourage more positive actions, so we just sent a letter of thanks to Clorox.  This is their feedback form if you would like to do the same.

We’re big fans of Preserve (located in Waltham, MA, just down the street from our last home in Lexington, MA.)  If you don’t buy their toothbrushes already, please start.  They (and all of their other products) are made from 100% recycled material (and they look and work great, too.)  AND, when it’s time for a new toothbrush, you simply print off one of their return mail labels, send the old toothbrush (and razor handles, and tongue cleaners) back and it will become plastic lumber, used to create other products.  What an awesome example of a company doing good for the planet on both ends of the product spectrum – cradle to grave.

If we humans want to continue living healthfully on this planet for generations to come, designers and manufacturers must all adopt full-product-lifecycle thinking.  There are many terms for this concept (Take Back the Filter provides a good outline of Extended Producer Responsibility) but they all essentially come down to this:  For many, many producers there is only one bottom line: profits.  We consumers need to use our power to advocate a triple bottom line which gives equal, if not priority, attention to the environmental and social impacts of products.  We do this by supporting (through purchases) companies who take this approach and not supporting companies that only care about increasing profits.  Additionally, we must encourage the latter to change for the better.  This is done by shining a light on the environmental and social impacts which they are not addressing.  This new filter recycling program is evidence that companies do listen.

One Response to “Good News re Brita Filters”

  1. Great post, Jeph! What a great day to celebrate. Isn’t it nice when companies not only meet but exceed our expectations?

    Your video was awesome. Maybe we could send them a thank you video. Or get a whole group of supporters to create their own short thank you videos and post them on the site. What do you think?

    Also, we really need to thank Sierra Club, which stepped in and helped Clorox figure out the best way to recycle the filters. Hooking up with them (accidentally) was one of the best events of this whole campaign. And it just came about because one Sierra Club member saw an email I posted on a neighborhood List Serv.


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