If you use a Brita filter instead of buying disposable water bottles, your eco-action has gotten even greener. The long-awaited Brita water filter recycling prograIm is now in effect! (via Fake Plastic Fish) You can now drop-off your filter at many Whole Foods locations.

Basically, Brita filter recycling was added to the Preserve Gimme 5 program, which takes back and recycles number 5 plastics, turning yogurt containers and old toothbrushes into new Preserve products ranging from razors to measuring cups.

The plastic part of Brita filters are made with number 5 plastic; that’s the part Preserve will recycle. The fate of the stuff encased in the plastic is still unclear. The Preserve Gimme 5 program’s website says what Brita said last year: “The filter ingredients … will be regenerated for alternative use or converted into energy” — a very vague description indeed.

At that time, I asked for more details, and basically learned that Brita and Preserve don’t know their nebulous marketing speak means either. I was told that “the details about the internal carbon and ion exchange resin are a little vague because Brita and Preserve are still working toward an exact solution…. Testing for the best method is in progress and we will have more information to announce early next year.” I’ll keep waiting.

Gimme 5 recycling bins are at a number of Whole Foods around the country. If there isn't one near you, you can mail your old filters in. Try to collect a few filters before sending them in to reduce packaging and carbon emissions. Once you’ve amassed several, let the filters dry out for a few days, wrap them in a plastic bag, then mail it via ground shipping to Preserve Gimme 5, 823 NYS Rte 13 Cortland, NY 13045.

Images: Courtesy preserveproducts.com

Recycle your used Brita filter
Drop off your used filter at a participating Whole Foods location — or collect a few filters before mailing them in.