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Organic Consumers Association

Success Story of the Week: Brita and Preserve Announce Filter Recycling Program

  • November 18, 2008

Editor's note: In Organic Bytes #134, the OCA launched an alert with its ally takebackthefilter.org to ask America's #1 water filter company, Brita, to begin a U.S. recycling program for the hundreds of thousands of filters the company sells domestically each year. Although Brita had a recycling system in place fro the filters it was selling overseas, apparently the company didn't feel like there was enough demand for a similar system among U.S. consumers. Thanks to pressure from citizen activists, the company has announced it is launching a U.S. recycling program where consumers can drop-off the filters at Whole Foods Market or mail them in:

OAKLAND, Calif., Nov. 18, 2008 - The new year will bring renewed life for used Brita® pitcher filters, which will be collected and recycled into items such as toothbrushes, cups and cutting boards.

Beginning in early January 2009, consumers can recycle Brita water pitcher filters through a program with Preserve®, the leading maker of 100 percent recycled household consumer goods. Preserve offers an environmentally friendly recycling infrastructure for No. 5 polypropylene plastic, a primary material in Brita pitcher filters, through its Gimme 5 recycling and reuse program.

Preserve will collect the filters to use in its line of eco-friendly, 100 percent recyclable personal care, tableware and kitchen products. Preserve products made in part from Brita filters will be available at leading retailers, allowing consumers to purchase new sustainable products they helped create.

"By working with Preserve, we are able to strengthen our sustainability commitment and identify a Brita filter recycling solution that is a win for consumers, the environment and our company," said Don Knauss, chairman and CEO of The Clorox Company, makers of Brita products. "This initiative is one of many ways The Clorox Company is actively making its consumer product offerings more sustainable and creating positive impacts in the area of waste reduction."

In 2007, Brita launched its FilterForGood campaign to reduce plastic bottled water waste in landfills and made a strong commitment to continue to improve its environmental impact by focusing on a filter recycling solution.

"Sierra Club has been in discussions with Clorox about a recycling program and we are pleased Brita is bringing such a viable solution for filter recycling to consumers," said Carl Pope, executive director, Sierra Club.

Each Filter Recycled Preserve will recycle 100 percent of each Brita plastic pitcher filter casing collected. The No. 5 polypropylene plastic from the casing will be used by Preserve in their line of products. The filter ingredients - activated carbon for creating great-tasting water and additional ion-exchange resin that reduces lead, mercury, copper, cadmium and zinc that might be found in tap water - will be regenerated for alternative use or converted into energy.

"The Brita filter recycling program gives Brita pitcher filters new life as Preserve products," stated John Lively, director of environment and material science for Preserve. "We calculated that the benefits of keeping Brita filters out of landfills outweigh the impact of shipping them for recycling through this program."

Drop Off or Mail Options for Recycling Consumers can drop off their used, dry Brita pitcher filters at participating Whole Foods Market stores or mail them directly to Preserve. Full details and instructions on both options, including a complete list of Gimme 5 stores, will be available at www.brita.com in early January 2009.

 * Drop off: Through the Preserve Gimme 5 program, select Whole Foods Market stores will begin collecting No. 5 plastics and used Brita pitcher filters.  * Mail in: Consumers who wish to mail in used Brita pitcher filters are encouraged to package the filter in a small, used box and send it via ground shipping. The box will also be recycled by Preserve.

Filter to Reduce Bottled Water Waste and Enjoy Healthier, Great-tasting Water

The filter recycling program builds on the success of Brita's FilterForGood campaign. Those who take the FilterForGood pledge to switch to a reusable bottle filled with filtered Brita water take action to protect the Earth by making a small lifestyle change. Now Brita users are making another positive impact by recycling Brita pitcher filters.

Brita provides consumers with healthier, great-tasting water. Brita pitcher filters reduce lead, mercury, copper, cadmium and zinc that might be found in tap water. In addition, internal testing of Brita pitcher filtration systems has shown a reduction of pharmaceutical compounds found in tap water, although a formal test protocol for claim certification has not been established. Please note, substances reduced may not be in all users' water.

For more information visit: www.Brita.com and www.FilterForGood.com.

About The Clorox Company The Clorox Company is a leading manufacturer and marketer of consumer products with fiscal year 2008 revenues of $5.3 billion. Clorox markets some of consumers' most trusted and recognized brand names, including its namesake bleach and cleaning products, Green Works™ natural cleaners, Armor All® and STP® auto-care products, Fresh Step® and Scoop Away® cat litter, Kingsford® charcoal, Hidden Valley® and K C Masterpiece® dressings and sauces, Brita® water-filtration systems, Glad® bags, wraps and containers, and Burt's Bees® natural personal care products. With approximately 8,300 employees worldwide, the company manufactures products in more than two dozen countries and markets them in more than 100 countries. Clorox is committed to making a positive difference in the communities where its employees work and live. Founded in 1980, The Clorox Company Foundation has awarded cash grants totaling more than $73.4 million to nonprofit organizations, schools and colleges. In fiscal 2008 alone, the foundation awarded $3.7 million in cash grants, and Clorox made product donations valued at $5.3 million. For more information about Clorox, visit www.TheCloroxCompany.com.

About Preserve Preserve is the leading maker of performance driven and stylish 100% recycled household products. Preserve is powered by the recycling efforts of individuals and companies collecting #5 plastic--such as yogurt cups and other common household containers--via Preserve's Gimme 5 program. The Gimme 5 program collects and transforms #5 plastics into new Preserve products; all recycling and manufacturing is done in the USA. Preserve empowers consumers to make everyday choices that are better for the earth while offering real solutions without compromise. Preserve's parent company, Recycline, was founded in 1996 to lead the way in mitigating the impacts of the industrial age and to offer innovative solutions for consumers and the earth. For more information, visit www.recycline.com.

Media Relations Georgeanna Smith, Edelman 312-233-1271; georgeanna.smith@edelman.com

Drew McGowan, Brita 510-271-7499; drew.mcgowan@clorox.com

C.A. Webb, Preserve 781-893-1032; ca.webb@recycline.com

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