take back the (Brita) filter

San Francisco water is pretty good, but I do like it better after it goes through the Brita filter.  I carry around my own water bottle filled up from the filter when I go out.  So that’s all good.  But then there’s the problem of the filter. 

Unfortunately, the Brita filter is not recyclable. 

I did a bit of research, however, and found the excellent Fake Plastic Fish blog where one reader’s comment included a BRITA Customer Service suggestion for extending the usefulness of the filter:

When a filter has expired it can be placed in the refrigerator for the next month or so to absorb odours (such as cheese, onions, garlic).

I wonder if that’s true? Can’t hurt to try.  But what happens after that?

The Take Back The Filter campaign!  Its goal is to get Clorox to take back and recycle the Brita water filter cartridges. After all, it’s the #1 filter in the US.  That’s a lot of filters in landfill.

Apparently, the Brita company is originally European, and was acquired by Oakland, California-based CLOROX.  In Europe, Brita has a take-back program for its filters.  (Producer take-back programs are more common in Europe, by the way.)  But Clorox doesn’t have one in the US or Canada.

Take Back The Filter has a petition you can sign to support the cause.  They are also collecting used Brita filters, so you can send them to:

Take Back The Filter
5245 College Avenue, Box #815
Oakland, CA 94618

or if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, e-mail beth@takebackthefilter.org to arrange for a pickup or take them to the collection bin at the Berkeley Ecology Center store.

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2 Responses to take back the (Brita) filter

  1. Becky says:

    Hi Wako –

    I wanted to let you know that Brita announced today that it is offering a recycling solution for its pitcher water filters. In 2007, when Brita launched the FilterForGood campaign to reduce bottled water waste, the company also made a strong commitment to improve its environmental impact by focusing on a filter recycling solution. Choosing Brita filtered water is already a responsible choice, especially considering it would take 300 standard 16.9-ounce bottles of water to replace just one Brita pitcher filter, but now Brita users can make another positive impact by recycling their Brita pitcher filters.

    Beginning in January 2009, Brita pitcher filters can be dropped off at participating Whole Foods Market stores or mailed to Preserve, who will recycle 100 percent of each Brita plastic pitcher filter casing collected for use in its line of recyclable household goods. More details about the program are in the release, below, which will be distributed at 10:30 a.m. PT today.

    If you have any questions or are interested in learning more, please let me know. The full release is available here: http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/The-Brita-Products-Company-921969.html


  2. Beth Terry says:

    Thanks for blogging about the Take Back The Filter campaign. We’ve had great news this week! Brita has created a program to take back and recycle the filters. Read about it here:


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