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Gimme 5 Recycling

By Paige Brady, January 20, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Paige Brady
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!
Category: Green Action

 

259 Comments

Comments

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.
01/20/2009 8:52:54 AM CST
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!
01/20/2009 9:44:04 AM CST
Lori says ...
Fantastic! Hopefully we can get this going in Atlanta!
01/20/2009 10:55:22 AM CST
Chells says ...
If this should expand to your SE stores, would really like to see this happen at the Mt. Pleasant, SC location.
01/20/2009 10:58:29 AM CST
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!
01/20/2009 10:59:43 AM CST
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. :)
01/20/2009 11:08:13 AM CST
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!
01/21/2009 3:14:37 AM CST
Alex says ...
Excellent! Please add the Philadelphia stores soon; the city only picks up #1 and #2 here.
01/21/2009 7:02:23 AM CST
Jeff says ...
Would love to see this in the Louisville store!
01/21/2009 8:40:34 AM CST
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.
01/21/2009 10:27:43 AM CST
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.
01/21/2009 6:31:48 PM CST
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.
01/22/2009 12:47:23 AM CST
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.
01/22/2009 8:26:23 AM CST
Becky says ...
Good for me. I have been saving all those yogurt containers. I'm hope there is one soon in Silver Spring, MD.
01/22/2009 10:25:17 AM CST
Janis says ...
The new store in Venice CA rocks! It would be even better with this recycling program.
01/23/2009 2:59:28 AM CST
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
01/23/2009 6:38:19 AM CST
Michelel Mikita says ...
Please add Short Pump VA to the Gimme 5 recycle list.. i just hate throwing anything away! Awesome initiative!
01/23/2009 3:09:11 PM CST
Ben says ...
Awesome! I love Preserve toothbrushes and now I have somewhere to bring all those #5's I never threw out! Yah!
01/26/2009 10:49:18 AM CST
Jenkintown says ...
Correction to above post: There are no PA stores currently particpating in this program, including the Jenkintown store.
01/26/2009 12:31:14 PM CST
Pat Cash says ...
Would love you to add the Raleigh, NC area stores to the program!
01/26/2009 1:03:36 PM CST
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...
01/26/2009 4:04:13 PM CST
Ashleigh says ...
Please come to Virginia!!!
01/27/2009 3:52:57 PM CST
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.
01/28/2009 11:54:09 AM CST
Paul says ...
Please expand this program! Especially to North Carolina - many eco-conscious focus in Raleigh and Cary would make the most of it.
01/28/2009 4:10:10 PM CST
Windy says ...
Would love to have this in Greenville, SC!!
01/28/2009 8:54:33 PM CST

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