Recycling BRITA Water Filter Cartridges: Persistence Pays Off

According to BRITA Worldwide, one in four filter cartridges gets recycled in Germany. But up to the end of 2008 U.S. residents had no options for recycling – the used filters would go straight into landfills or be shipped to Asia to be burned for energy.

Neither option was acceptable to a group of concerned U.S. citizens that started the campaign Take Back the Filter. The campaign collected over 500 filters from around the country with the intent to hand deliver them to BRITA US owned by Clorox. Finally at the end of 2008 a solution was found: Preserve would recycle BRITA filters through a new recycling program.

This short story illustrates that persistence does pay off in many cases, which is something we, the team, is really happy about.


How to Recycle BRITA Filters in the United States

Since january 2009 Preserve and Whole Foods have teamed up to collect and recycle BRITA water filter cartridges. Selected Whole Foods natural grocery stores will have a collection box for old filters. These will then be shipped to Preserve and be recycled into toothbrushes, cups, cutting boards and more.

For those consumers without a convenient Whole Foods drop-off location the filters can be dried, wrapped inside a plastic grocery bag, packed in a cardboard box and mailed to Preserve at: Preserve Gimme 5, 823 NYS Rte 13, Cortland, NY USA 13045.

New York City residents and members of the Park Slope Coop can drop off BRITA filters on the coop’s select recycling days for Preserve to recycle.

How to Recycle BRITA Filters in the United Kingdom

Residents of the United Kingdom can expect to find recycling programs for BRITA filters at most stores that retail the cartridges, such as Argos and Tesco chains. To find a BRITA recycling facility consumers can call 0844 742 4800 to reach BRITACare. When cartridges are delivered to UK retailers the used cartridges can be returned in the same way they arrived.

The filters can also be mailed to: Brita Recycling, FREEPOST, NAT 17876, Bicester OX26 4BR.

BRITA Recycling in Other Countries

For information on recycling programs in other countries BRITA can be contacted at their headquarters at: BRITA GmbH, Heinrich-Hertz-Straße 4, D-65232 Taunusstein, Germany.

For countries that have not yet established recycling programs for the BRITA filter cartridges perhaps a similar campaign as Take Back the Filter effort will yield positive results for the environment.