No matter how many times we tell our husband that yogurt containers aren't recyclable in our city, we still regularly dig them out of the recycling bin. And we notice most of the tenants in our building make the same mistake. In fact, tons of products that we regularly buy, like sour cream, cottage cheese, ketchup, hummus, and medicine are usually #5 plastics and a big no-no in our recycling program. Good news though - we just read about Preserve's Gimme 5 recycling program being piloted in a selection of Whole Foods stores.
In partnership with Organic Valley and Stonyfield, the program aims to close the loop on #5 plastics. For example, you buy Stonyfield yogurt in a #5 container, you wash it and drop it off at your nearest Whole Foods Store (list of first round participating stores here), it's sent on to Preserve and turned into clean plastic pellets, and, finally, these pellets are then used in their manufacturing to make Preserve products (razors, toothbrushes, kitchenwares and tablewares). Gimme 5 also accepts Brita pitcher filters and, of course, Preserve products. If you don't live near a Whole Foods you can even ground ship (at your own expense) your #5s to Preserve. Find out more about Gimme 5 here.
Sure, it's not as convenient as walking them out to your curb, but it's certainly a step in the right direction and will hopefully demonstrate that programs like this can work. Incidentally, we switched to Preserve toothbrushes last year and love them (and dutifully mail them back for recycling). And don't forget about the Preserve Jr. we posted about way back when.