Brita Takes Back the Filter

It was once difficult to recycle these water filters. (Photo: BrokenSphere [CC by SA-2.0]/Wikimedia Commons)

Beth Terry hates plastic. Just one look at her blog, Fake Plastic Fish, will confirm that in spades. So the California accountant/green blogger goes to great lengths each day to make sure that she uses the least amount of plastic possible. Beth was feeling pretty good about herself when she kicked the plastic water bottle habit and started carrying a reusable bottle filled with filtered tap water. That is until she realized that the plastic water filters she was using were not recyclable. Beth wrote about her frustration on her blog and soon realized that there were thousands of other people who shared her frustration. That's when the Take Back The Filter Campaign was born.

Through Take Back the Filter, Beth asked consumers to sign a petition and write to Clorox executives (Clorox is the parent company of Brita's U.S. division) asking the company to initiate a recycling program for its water filters here in North America similar to the recycling program used for the same filters in Europe. And most importantly, Beth asked folks from around the country to send her their used Brita water filters so that she could keep track of the waste and spread the word about her cause.

In no time at all, Beth's Take Back the Filter campaign was all over the internet and print media and Brita users all over North America were filling up her den with their used water filters. Fortunately for all of us (especially Beth!), it didn't take long for Clorox to react to the campaign, announcing this past November that they would team up with Preserve, a U.S. company manufacturing household products from recycled plastic, to recycle their plastic water filters. So Brita users can now drop off their used water filters at Whole Foods Markets or mail them straight to Preserve for recycling. Here's the address:

Preserve Gimme 5

823 NYS Rte 13

Cortland, NY 13045

This past weekend, Beth was able to turn over the more than 600 used water filters she has collected over the past few months directly to Brita executives, to kick start their campaign. In honor of that, I propose a toast to Beth and all of the folks who made Take Back the Filter such an astounding success. Cheers!