New Way to Recycle Your Number 5 Plastic

preserve recycled toothbrush

Too many old yogurt containers concealing ancient leftovers in your refrigerator? Seems that we all have a stack of them cluttering the cabinets in our kitchen–the price we pay for enjoying yogurt, sour cream or anything that comes sold in those shiny Number 5 plastic containers and also having a conscience.

Luckily Preserve, makers of 100% recycled personal care products, has started a new program to recycle the pesky plastics even when your municipality does not. They’ve partnered up with organic dairy producers, Stonyfield Farm and Organic Valley, to turn used plastic dairy containers into toothbrush handles. Consumers can return the plastic containers, along with used Brita water filters, into bins at any of the participating Whole Foods markets in the Midwest, Northeast and Northern California.

Preserve’s recycling loop is so complete that when the toothbrush wears out, the handles can be mailed back to Preserve to be recycled yet again.

Grocery stores sell tons of Polypropylene #5 as it is a strong, lightweight food-grade plastic that is easy to recycle, though few communities offer curbside pickup. Even some of those communities who do pick it up just send it to Asia to be burned as energy, unfortunately. The initiative dubbed “Gimme 5” hopes to divert thousands of pounds of the outcast plastic from crowding landfills.

A great idea, to be sure.

Image Credit: L.Woodruff at Flickr under a Creative Commons License

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