MARCH 2009

Program offers recycling option for Polypropylene #5

Preserve Gimme 5 offers consumers a new recyclingsolution -- one that allows them to see the fruits of their labors via the transformation of their yogurt cups and hummus tubs to new Preserve toothbrushes and razors.

According to Hudson, "Recycling is the most common activity that people cite when asked what they do to reduce their impact on the earth. Recycling and choosing recycled products, coupled with other ways to reduce and reuse, take us all an important step closer toward protecting our planet so we can enjoy its beauty and share that beauty with future generations."

Additionally, the Preserve Gimme 5 program accepts Brita® water pitcher filters for recycling. Brita pitcher filters can be deposited in Gimme 5 bins along with other #5 plastic. Instructions for drying and submitting these filters can be found at

Recyclers with no place to go with their #5 polypropylene plastics have had few options – until now. The Preserve Gimme 5 program gives shoppers a convenient drop-off location for containers often not accepted at municipal recycling centers. The program, created by Preserve and offered through a partnership with Whole Foods Market, organic yogurt maker Stonyfield Farm, and Organic Valley, an organic, farmer-owned cooperative, launched January 27 in select Whole Foods Market locations.

Polypropylene #5 is a strong, lightweight, food-grade, easy-to-recycle plastic. It’s commonly found in everything from yogurt and other dairy containers to hummus containers and medicine bottles. Grocery stores sell hundreds of products packaged in #5 plastic and it finds a home in millions of pantries and refrigerators. Yet, few communities have curbside #5 plastic collection. For those that do, many ship that plastic to Asia to be burned as energy. Collecting #5 plastic in stores and sending it to Preserve will limit the environmental footprint of this material and give it a second life as a new and useful Preserve product.

“This program will save thousands of pounds of #5 plastic from being sent to landfills. We’re thrilled to join this program and to empower our customers to increase their recycling efforts,” said Jeremiah McElwee, senior Whole Body coordinator for Whole Foods Market.

The partnership between Preserve, Organic Valley and Stonyfield Farm reflects the three companies’ shared commitment to protecting the environment. Preserve is the leading maker of performance-driven and stylish 100% recycled household products, including the Preserve toothbrush, razor, tableware, and the award-winning Preserve Kitchen line. Stonyfield has had an ongoing relationship with Preserve. Since 2000, the yogurt-maker has provided millions of yogurt cups and scrap plastic from its manufacturing facility and consumers to Preserve.

Common #5 plastics include packaging for yogurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese, ricotta cheese, margarine and hummus containers; medicine bottles; some plastic ice cream containers; and food storage and take-out containers. The number 5 should be plainly marked on the bottom of the container.