Preserve those plastics

Company recycles No. 5 plastics and Brita filters

It’s hot and you’re probably drinking lots of water (if not, you should be!).

Now you can recycle the used filters from your Brita pitchers instead of throwing them away. Mail them to Preserve Products (Preserve Gimme 5, 823 NYS Rte. 13, Cortland, N.Y., 13045). Or if you’re going out of town to, say, Sacramento or the Bay Area, drop the filters in any designated bin at a Whole Foods Market.

Preserve uses the recycled plastic filter casings (and other No. 5 polypropylene plastic, such as yogurt cups and hummus containers) to make their brightly colored, 100-percent-recycled toothbrushes, cutting boards, plastic tableware and kitchenware, and other plastic items, using a process that creates 64 percent less greenhouse gas than making virgin polypropylene.

The innovative company converts the filter ingredients—activated carbon and ion exchange resin—into energy. Preserve’s toothbrushes, razor handles and tongue cleaners are also recyclable into plastic lumber—use the postage-paid label available on Preserve’s Web site ( to send the company’s used products back to them for a second life.

Locally, Chico Natural Foods, Trader Joe’s and Target carry Preserve Products. Those not available in Chico can be purchased online.