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Gimme 5 Recycling

Great news for recyclers out there! Some of our Whole Foods Market stores are piloting a new program for recycling #5 plastic with Preserve called Gimme 5. If you don’t have the recycling numbers memorized (like me), #5 is commonly used in containers for yogurt, cottage cheese, hummus, medicine bottles, etc. I’m told that many communities don’t have recycling for #5 plastics and when it is collected, it’s often shipped to Asia to be burned as energy. Yuck! Oh yeah, as an added benefit, Gimme 5 also accepts Brita water filters for recycling. (Since water filters are all different, this is only for Brita.) nullSo here’s the deal. You bring your #5 plastics to a drop-off bin at our participating stores. (We’re starting with our stores in the Midwest, North Atlantic, Northeast and Northern California. Check for specific stores.) We’ll send the plastic to Preserve, who make recycled household products including toothbrushes, razors, tableware, and kitchen products. When they get it, the plastic is ground up and turned into clean plastic pellets. The pellets are then sent to Preserve’s manufacturing facilities to be transformed into new Preserve products. Obviously, when you choose to purchase Preserve stuff that closes the loop on the whole recycling chain. How cool is that? Preserve Gimme 5 is supported by a partnership with Organic Valley and Stonyfield Farm. Pats on backs all around. This whole program started because Preserve wondered: “Wouldn’t it be cool if more people could recycle their #5 plastic? They could just fill up their reusable shopping bags and drop off their #5s every time they go shopping at Whole Foods Market.” A Green Mission Team Leader in our Reston, Virginia store had the same good idea. Together they piloted the first Preserve Gimme 5 program and it worked! Store guests loved the bin and filled it with so much clean #5 plastic that Team Members emptied the bin three times a week. Preserve called their friends at Organic Valley and Stonyfield Farm. Together, they agreed to fund a program that would make #5 recycling available at other Whole Foods Market stores. Preserve hopes to expand Gimme 5 to more Whole Foods Market stores in the coming months. If your store isn’t on the list of current stores and you’d like to see it in your store, post a comment below and I’ll make sure the stores and Preserve get the message!

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263 comments

Comments

Joanna says …

Hello! This is an awesome idea but I thought Colorado would be listed in the pilot... Would you please add Colorado.. Thanks Much!!!

Cassie says …

I saw on the list here in Jacksonville we will be able to take our number 5's on Feb. 16. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I am so glad there will now be a place we can take our number 5's.

says …

<em>Hey All! Just a little reminder of the Comment that C.A. Webb from Preserve left a few weeks back: </em> All of us at Preserve are so pleased to hear the positive reaction to our Gimme 5 program. Our partners at Organic Valley and Stonyfield Farm agree that we would like to make Preserve Gimme 5 available to all Whole Foods Market stores that would like to participate. If your store does not currently participate but you wish it did, you can stop by the customer service desk the next time you’re shopping and urge them to join the program. And, in the meantime, you can return your #5s directly to Preserve for recycling–http://www.preserveproducts.com/recycling/index.html Thanks for your support! C.A. Webb, Marketing Director, Preserve

Chris B says …

I would like to see this happen in the south region as well. As the lead receiver at Cary WFM in NC I see a lot of plastic either thrown out or recycled and then thrown out. Our state of the art distribution center in Georgia is doing all they can to recycle what we can and I think this would be an excellent addition.

Lenah N says …

This is such a great idea! I live in the Inland Northwest and unfortunately the nearest Whole Foods Store to me is 300 miles away. Is this program only located in Whole Foods Stores? The Co-Op would also be a great place for this.

Sarah Royse says …

I would love to see this in Columbus, OH! Awesome program!!

Rebekah says …

There are many WF shops in the Phoenix market, and I would love to see this program here as well! Thank you so much for replying and letting us know we can mail stuff directly to Preserve as well- awesome!

Rachel Zintgraff says …

I cannot believe there is not a store recycling in Austin, Texas. We are a Green Community and growing by the minute. Please put one here! Until then, I guess I will collect and mail them in myself. I had no idea they were sent to China in when put in our recycling bin!!!

Lisa Miller says …

I would love to see this in the Lamar store in Austin, TX. I live about an hour north of Austin, but drive to Whole Foods a couple times a month. I'm also an avid recycler and here in Temple, it's #1 &amp; 2 only,,,GRRR. So please consider Austin!!

Anne says …

This is a great initiative, so I'm disappointed to see no Pennsylvania stores included in the pilot program. I hope you'll add the Jenkintown, PA, store soon. About six months ago, we stopped buying yogurt and cottage cheese because we were generating so many #5 plastic containers, and we can only recycle #1 and #2 here. (We still occasionally buy the Vermont Creamery yogurt that comes in the glass bottle.) We're looking forward to seeing this program come to our store! Thanks.

Farrah says …

Very exciting! Hope this will make it to Texas. I know it would be a success here in the DFW area. What a great partnership!

Lori says …

Fantastic! Hopefully we can get this going in Atlanta!

Chells says …

If this should expand to your SE stores, would really like to see this happen at the Mt. Pleasant, SC location.

Emily Smith says …

Please consider Greenville, SC! Lots of hummus, yogurt, brita filters and more waiting to be donated to Gimme 5. :) Also, I use a Preserve toothbruth that comes in a recyclable container that you can ship back to them (really wonderful toothbrush, by the way). Would I be able to recycle it at WF with Gimme 5 instead of shipping it back? Not sure what # plastics the toothbrush and container are. Thanks for being so proactive!

modF says …

This is a great project! Hopefully it will not be long until you bring it to Southern New Jersey as well. Although, I do live in the first city in the US to mandate recycling. :)

Chris says …

Please bring this to Rochester, NY.

Mo says …

Please please bring this to AZ! We have one of your newer stores here in Scottsdale, and I would love to be a part of such a great thing! :)

acacia says …

I just want to make absolutely certain: These #5 containers are NOT shipped overseas right?? They stay here (US/CA/Mex), correct? Where are the new products manufactured? We do not purchase products from China, for instance, as a rule. Thanks!

Li Wong says …

Thank you! I live in Brooklyn and there is very limited plastic recycling. Yesterday I regretfully tossed a #5 container and now today I stumbled across this notice. America is marching slowly forward! Thanks Whole Foods

Matt says …

Just wanted to say that for all you people waiting to get this program going in your area, Preserve DOES accept #5 recycling by mail and has instructions for shipping it to them here: http://www.preserveproducts.com/gimme5/index.html Unfortunately you have to pay for shipping if you don't live near a Gimme 5 drop-off location, but if you check out the usps site for size and weight specifications, you can keep the personal cost to a minimum!

Donna says …

Hope this comes to San Diego soon!

Ashley says …

I'm so happy you guys are doing this! I really hate having to just throw away those containers with the infernal number 5 on the bottom, but I've yet to find anyone that will recycle them. Please bring this program to Houston! I started saving my 5s today, so I'll be very happy to have a way to recycle them soon. :) Thank you!

Theresa Partheymuller says …

I went to the Whole Foods at 24th and 7th in NYC with my yogurt cups but they didn't know what I was talking about. I didn't realize that the program was only in a few stores. I mostly shop at this store and I would like a bin there. Thanks this is a great idea.

Alex says …

Excellent! Please add the Philadelphia stores soon; the city only picks up #1 and #2 here.

Jeff says …

Would love to see this in the Louisville store!

Rudy says …

I definitely hope this makes it to both Philadelphia locations ASAP. This is a very exciting green initiative and I would definitely start buying soy yogurt and certain cosmetic products if their containers were recyclable.

D says …

would like to see the whole foods store in marlton, nj added to the list.

Bonny Hohenberger says …

I am very disappointed that stores in Philadelphia and/or New Jersey have not begun the initiative to recycle #5 plastic. Most everyone I know, especially in Center City Philadelphia, is very environmentally conscious and would probably take advantage of this opportunity.

Karen says …

I've been bugging Brita about recycling in the U.S. for years! Now that it's here, PLEASE add SoCal stores! We're a huge market (no pun intended) and in most areas surrounding your stores, there is already serious recycling going on--just not the sort that takes Brita.

RecycleBill says …

<a href="http://recyclebills.squarespace.com/recycleblog/whole-foods-says-gimme-5.html" rel="nofollow">A few shortcomings</a> but overall a good program. Thanks for going green.

Becky says …

Good for me. I have been saving all those yogurt containers. I'm hope there is one soon in Silver Spring, MD.

willy says …

Stop at the Columbus Circle WFM to drop off your #5! 10 Columbus Circle 10019 New York City

Blair says …

Please Please Please add this to Texas! Houston! Great idea and I'm ready, willing and able to recycle.

Sara says …

This is a great project!!! I would love to see it take place in South Florida (Miami Beach) We always seem to be behind the mark when it comes to new recycling programs.. I really hope we can change the way of living and thinking in our area...

Ben says …

Awesome! I love Preserve toothbrushes and now I have somewhere to bring all those #5's I never threw out! Yah!

Jenkintown says …

Correction to above post: There are no PA stores currently particpating in this program, including the Jenkintown store.

Pat Cash says …

Would love you to add the Raleigh, NC area stores to the program!

John says …

The Reston, VA store is mentioned in the article as the pilot store for this program, but is not listed as a Gimme5 collection site. Why not and why are there no other participating stores in Virgina? This is a great program and should be expanded.

Paul says …

Please expand this program! Especially to North Carolina - many eco-conscious focus in Raleigh and Cary would make the most of it.

C.A. says …

@Anne: I hope you can resume your yogurt and cottage cheese habit soon! Preserve is currently working with the region that oversees Pennsylvania stores and we hope to have our Gimme 5 program up and running there later this year.

C.A. says …

@Emily: Yes! You can drop your Preserve Toothbrush (and any other Preserve products) in the Gimme 5 bin for recycling. We grind up the toothbrush and the reusable travel case and, with the help of a partner, recycle it into plastic lumber for things like picnic tables and boardwalks. I'm so glad you like your Preserve Toothbrush!

C.A. says …

@John: While the Reston, VA store led the pilot, they unfortunately discovered a glitch in their backend operations that we have to smooth out before we can begin collecting their plastic and delivering it to Preserve. We are working with the stores in Virginia and other states in the Mid Atlantic region to iron out these wrinkles and bring Preserve Gimme 5 to these stores.

Windy says …

Would love to have this in Greenville, SC!!

Ashleigh says …

Please come to Virginia!!!

katie says …

I hope they start this program in Baltimore, Maryland, I shop at whole foods at least once a week, so being able to drop off my #5 recyclables will save me alot of trouble instead of having to mail them to Gimme5.

Mary says …

Great Idea!! I live in So. Nevada-so non-green here! Would love to see this at our Green Valley and Town Square stores!!

Janis says …

The new store in Venice CA rocks! It would be even better with this recycling program.

C.A. says …

All of us at Preserve are so pleased to hear the positive reaction to our Gimme 5 program. Our partners at Organic Valley and Stonyfield Farm agree that we would like to make Preserve Gimme 5 available to all Whole Foods Market stores that would like to participate. If your store does not currently participate but you wish it did, you can stop by the customer service desk the next time you're shopping and urge them to join the program. And, in the meantime, you can return your #5s directly to Preserve for recycling--http://www.preserveproducts.com/recycling/index.html Thanks for your support! C.A. Webb, Marketing Director, Preserve

susan williamson says …

I don't see any Pennsylvania stores listed, but Jenkintown IS participating in this program. When will you update the listing and when will North Wales begin the program? Thank you

Michelel Mikita says …

Please add Short Pump VA to the Gimme 5 recycle list.. i just hate throwing anything away! Awesome initiative!

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