Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

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!

Leave a reply

To provide feedback or ask a question about our company, a store or a product, please visit our Customer Service page.

For more information about posting comments to our blog, please see our Comment Posting Guidelines.

263 comments

Comments

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@ANNE - I would suggest checking with the store directly to see if they accept #5's. If the store does not have a bin, it's possible that the city now accepts #5's.

D Nahinu says …

please bring this program to Kailua and Kahala, Hawaii stores.

Nelson Dittmar says …

Does your Gimme 5 Recycling program accept plastic caps also? If yes, does it take all plastic caps or just the ones labeled 5? Thanks

Mark says …

It would be great if the whole foods in Reston VA was a gimme 5 location (it isn't listed on the site you link to, but I'll also check in the store). Keep up the good work!

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@NELSON - I would suggest reaching out to your local store directly to see what they accept with their recycling program. Since this is an older blog post, I want to make sure you receive current info!

Julie perry says …

Does the whole foods in Cincinnati ohio in Rookwood commoms recycle the clear plastic fruit containers(clam shells) if yes ifs there a specific recycle number.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@JULIE - It depends on the number on the bottom of the clam shell. I would suggest checking with the store directly next time you are in store or you can call them at 513.531.8015.

Doris Janes says …

Zip: 77057. Three Whole Foods within driving distance of me: Post Oak/San Felipe, Woodway/Voss and Wilcrest/Westheimer. Would love to see Gimme 5 in ONE of these stores!! Thanks!

Peggy Pearson says …

Please get a bin to the Little Rock store soon!

Tauni N. says …

Hi! Could you set up a Gimme 5 program at the Whole Foods in Reno, NV? Thanks!

Jonni L. Jones says …

I live in Tucson. Do your Tucson stores accept #5 plastic for recycling?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@JONNI - It will differ between stores and we have a few locations in Tucson. I would suggest calling the store directly where you plan to shop to see what exactly they recycle.

Angela says …

We had #5 recycling at our Little Rock, AR store and it was always full. Now they have opened a beautiful new store, but I have not seen the #5 recycling bin. Very disappointing. I live across town but love to stop at WF when I'm in the area. I have a large bag of #5 plastics saved up and would be very unhappy to just throw them away. I hope this comes back to Little Rock.

Pages